HOLTVILLE â€“ Referring to Holtville as the â€œoasisâ€ of Imperial County, Holtville Mayor Jim Predmore hosted the annual State of the City address Monday evening at the Imperial Palms Hotel & Resort.
â€œWhen we drive into Holtville, whether it is from the east or west side, we see all of the palm trees,â€ said Predmore. â€œOn the east side we see the lake at Casa Blanca surrounded by palm trees. I think that Holtville is the ‘oasis’ of Imperial County, and we want to promote that.â€
Predmore went on to say out-of-area investors have recently shown greatÂ interest in the Valley resulting in renewable investments in solar, wind and geothermal.
â€œThe Valley is on the verge of unprecedented expansion,â€ declared Predmore.
Holtville successfully passed a balanced budget for its fourth consecutive year. Predmore thanked City Manager Nick Wells, and Finance Supervisor, Hector Orozco, for their hard work.
â€œBalancing four years in a row is not an easy task. I appreciate your hard work and dedication,â€ Predmore said.
Referring to the loss of the Redevelopment Agency in 2011, Predmore recounted how the city found itself in a poor financial situation and was forced to reduce its staff to achieve aÂ balanced budget.
â€œOur staff had to work extremely hard to keep the city functioning and our employees have not received a pay raise since 2008,â€ explained Predmore. â€œI am very proud to say that we have entered into a new three year contract with the city of Holtville employees, giving our employees a much needed pay increase.â€
Predmore emphasized the upsurge in home values the last two years, and said the substantial increase of new homes currently being purchased in the city attributed to the rise.
â€œThe more the homes sell for, and the faster they sell, it all affects the value of every home in Holtville,â€ said Predmore.
The city doubled its water storage capacity the past few years and replaced the sewer outfall main pipeline. According to Predmore, prior to the sewer line replacement, the intake was lowering into their wastewater treatment plant by one million gallons per day.
â€œThat sewer line ran adjacent to an IID canal and on occasion, when the IID would turn off the water to the canal, our sewer plant inflows almost dropped to half. Since that pipeline has now been completed the amount of sewage going into the plant has been substantially reduced.â€
Additionally the cityâ€™s wastewater treatment plant is currently undergoing rehabilitation, making it more efficient. The restoration is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
â€œThe outfall pipeline and the treatment plant rehabilitation represents $24 million in investment that Holtville is making to its infrastructure, the majority of that coming in the form of grants and forgivable loans,â€ said Predmore.
Holtville has also experienced numerous buckling sidewalks throughout the city. â€œHaving our public works make these repairs in homes has saved the city quite a bit of funds and they have done a fantastic job,â€ said the mayor.
According to Predmore, the city has made much progress with new developments and businesses over the past few years. â€œHoltville stands out as a city and a community from every other city in the Imperial County and we are proud of that.â€
â€œWhat really makes Holtville great is its people,â€ he said.
Among those recognized were the Fire Department, Sheriffâ€™s Department, Alex Silva, Robert Benavidez, Dora DePaloi, Ruth Chambers, Jason & Katie Turner from Performance Mechanical Contractors (PMC), Jack & Jamie Vessey, Heather Vessey-Garcia (Vessey & Co.), Luis Barajas (Turning Point), Walter Britschgi, Julie Duarte, Christina Toten, Jeff Magin, Manuel DeLeon, and Brenda Torres. Those attending also honored and remembered the passing of theÂ late Pete Mellinger and Steve Larson.
With the couple celebrating an eighth wedding anniversary, Predmore also took the opportunity to thank his wife for her support and surprised her with a bouquet of flowers.[envira-gallery id=”79052″]