IMPERIAL — Imperial Mayor Darrell Pechtl delivered the State of the City address to Imperial residents and other Imperial County locals at the City’s Blues, Brews, and BBQ market days event in downtown Imperial Saturday, February 15.
The Blues, Brews, and BBQ market day also featured the ninth annual tri-tip cook-off where 14 local teams joined to provide savory tri-tip and other signature dishes. Guests could also enjoy Julian Pies, Dudley’s Bread, local produce, and kettle corn at the farmer’s market.
Mayor Pro-Tempore Karin Eugenio lead the opening remarks by giving thanks to the different departments, organizations, and individuals that made the event and previous years' of success possible. Eugenio introduced Mayor Pechtl, jokingly calling him a reserved man.
Mayor Pechtl addressed the City.
“We’ve entered a new decade and a new era of growth and prosperity for our city and its residents. Like a duet, your elected leaders and city staff work side-by-side to serve the needs of this community. So much has been accomplished in recent years, which has set the stage for the progress we continue to experience. What it all boils down to is a focus on your quality of life.”
Pechtl highlighted some facts and statistics regarding the City and its growth. With nearly 20,000 Imperial residents in 2020, the City’s current growth rate is four percent, making Imperial the fifth fastest growing municipality in California, according to Pechtl.
Pechtl discussed the growing need for housing and Imperial’s ability to meet those needs.
“There are enough seats here for everyone,” said Pechtl.
He explained business growth and the impact it has had on Imperial, with 872 annual business licenses issued in 2019, increasing revenue by 126.5 percent.
Pechtl also stated Imperial remains the number one safest city in California with the lowest crime rate in the State. In 2019, 0.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people were recorded and 4.28 property crimes per 1,000. He attributed the safety statistics to the police department, calling them top-notch.
Pechtl discussed efforts made among the city council and city administration, including streaming city council meetings live on Facebook to enhance public access.
He stated $7,200,000 in water infrastructure improvements was funded by the City, in addition to the groundbreaking of the membrane bioreactor wastewater plant.
The City’s utility billing system was upgraded, while city-wide server and desktop computer upgrades are on-going.
Mayor Pechtl highlighted some of the businesses that came to Imperial in 2019, including March & Ash.
He discussed future projects to further the development of the community, including the completion of the hotel north of Imperial along Highway 86, which has been partially completed for several years.
“Imperial is more than just suburbs and houses; it’s filled with good people who celebrate genuine quality of life. There’s no doubt it’s a place you drive to — not through,” said Pechtl.