BRAWLEY â€“ The 4th annual Mayorâ€™s Breakfast and State of the City was held Friday morning at the Stockmanâ€™s Club of Imperial Valley in Brawley.
Brawley Mayor Don Campbell addressed the gathering of city officials, politicians, and Imperial Valley citizens on the current state of the city.
The population of Brawley is just over 25,000 with 8,200 housing units and a median income of just over $41,000.
Campbell first brought up the closure of National Beef Packing Company, the significance of the Cityâ€™s loss of revenue, the impact of losing 1300 jobs, and the ancillary businesses that will be affected.
â€œThe closure of National Beef really hit us hard,â€ said Campbell. â€œI want to thank the Imperial Valley Ad Hoc Committee for all of their hard work in trying to resolve this issue. We are still working to continue forward with this news and to help those displaced workers with assistance.â€
Brawley is still growing and new businesses continue to come in, especially in the Gateway Corridor where Wal-Mart and the new businesses are locating. The new Burger King construction is underway. Starbucks, Del Taco, a new car wash, and other small businesses have been newly added to this booming area of Brawley.
Panno Road is finally being finished and may be done by the middle of March which will open up traffic flow to this area.
â€œThe completion of Panno Road will open up new commercial development. We continue to encourage new business and have asked staff to work with anyone who may want to come to our city,â€ said Campbell.
â€œIn 2013, we had a balanced budget,â€ said Campbell. â€œWe did this without dipping into the General Fund. It took a lot of hard work by our City Manager, staff, and department heads.
The budget for Brawley is $61 million.
Street repair is being conducted all over the City of Brawley. This includes some new curbing and sidewalks in certain areas. 32 streets are scheduled to be repaired.
The Brawley Airport is also undergoing a $4 million repaving project.
â€œUp until last year, we have repaired 86 streets,â€ said Campbell. â€œThis represents a $6 million expenditure. We are continuing with the street repairs and acknowledge how important these improvements are to our community. We are focused on getting all streets repaired.â€
Downtown Brawley is still suffering from the rash of arson fires. Businesses are not rebuilding.
â€œWe realize that downtown Brawley is not what it used to be,â€ said Campbell. â€œWe would like to see downtown become more of an entertainment center, an area where people can eat, listen to music, and enjoy themselves and their families.â€
â€œWith the closure of National Beef, we are facing some new challenges,â€ said Campbell. â€œWe will continue to be financially prudent and stay within our budget. If we donâ€™t have it, we wonâ€™t spend it.â€
â€œI am very proud of the City of Brawley, the people who do the day to day work, and the citizens that live here,â€ said Campbell. â€œWeâ€™ve had some challenges, but the new businesses that are coming in and the improvements that we are able to complete are making Brawley a better place to live. I want to thank city staff for their hard work and hope that God continues to bless them and the citizens of Brawley.â€