BRAWLEY â€“ Highlighting statistics that indicate major growth for the city, Brawley Mayor Donnie Wharton gave an optimistic State of the City address Friday at the 2016 Mayorâ€™s Breakfast held at the Stockmenâ€™s Club of Imperial Valley.
Applications for business licenses and building permits are up from last year, according to Wharton.
â€œOne of the most striking statistics is that property valuations are up 82%,â€ said Wharton. â€œAs a council, we look at these numbers as a positive indicator of growth. We are excited by the trend.â€
The population of Brawley is now numbers over 25,000, with a budget of $52 million and a general fund of $15 million.
â€œOne of the stars of the new things coming up is One World Beef (OWB),â€ Wharton said. â€œWe have been working feverishly to get to the point where we are now.Â OWB is working diligently with staff to get the doors open. We are looking forward to the hundreds of jobs here shortly. This is a local family with a group that has stepped forward to take over the plant. We couldnâ€™t be happier about this. Itâ€™s the best case scenario.â€
Many local businesses have recently relocated or re-invested in the community, Wharton added.
Some of those businesses include Assagios, KFC, Las Chabelas, Brownieâ€™s, Johnnyâ€™s Burritos, Subway, Rameyâ€™s Meats, and a Merle Norman Studios in Rodeo Plaza. Agriculture-related businesses include KC Welding and Supply, 5 Crowns Cooling, and New Castle Farms. Housing projects like Florentine Estates, Brawley Senior Apartments, Victoria Parks, and La Valencia continue to build within the city limits.
In addition, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District continues to expand services and Clincas de Salud del Pueblo Inc. is expanding as well.
â€œI cannot express how fortunate we are to have the healthcare services we have in our community,â€ said Wharton. â€œWe are lucky.â€
Some of the city improvements Wharton named include the renovation of the Kiwanis Kiosk in Plaza Park, nearly $6 million in road improvements, continued infrastructure repairs, the revitalization of city buildings, renovation of the Alyce Gereaux Park, and a new fire truck.
â€œAs a council, we take the revitalization of Main Street very seriously,â€ Wharton said. â€œThis has been one of the focuses of the council. Our outside is growth is going to continue to happen. We have focused on our downtown to make it an art, entertainment, and dining district to bring it to life. You can see definitive signs towards that goal. We have approved a decorative lighting project around Plaza Park with an initial $300,000 investment this year. This is the type of small investment that cities of our size can make.â€
â€œWe that live in this city, whether it be native or transplant, are here because we want to be,â€ said Wharton. â€œWe live in a great city. We have service elements that much larger cities have, such as fire and police departments, a hospital, and an airport. There are so many cities that are not as fortunate as Brawley, but itâ€™s the people that make this city great.â€