Speaking to a room full of citizens, constituents and City staff members, Mayor Steve Nelsen lead the State of the City Address on Tuesday, October 13th at the Visalia Convention Center.
Welcoming the crowd to the annual address, Mayor Nelsen kicked off the night with information regarding the the biggest construction project the City has ever undertaken, the $140 million dollar upgrade to the Water Conservation Plant.
"The project includes nitrogen removal, a recycled water pumping station, a 1 megawatt solar installation, and all the pipelines, electrical, instrumentation and control facilities needed to treat 11.5 million gallons of effluent every day," stated Nelsen.
Vice Mayor E. Warren Gubler discussed the construction of Fire Station 53. The 6,900 square foot facility, at the southeast corner of Atwood and Walnut Avenue, is estimated to cost $3.24 million and was funded through Measure T and impact fees.
"Station 53 is expected to be completed in early 2016. The station will have a staff of three, including a paramedic," added Gubler.
Additional points included the new Animal Care Center, the upcoming Visalia Senior Games, the Transit Department's V-Line coming in November and the drought.
Discussion of dollars was on the agenda, as the City's finances were discussed in detail.
"We have made a concerted effort to build General Fund reserves, and through an influx of one time money from things like State reimbursements and land sales, as well as budget savings, we have," said Nelsen. "We’ve been able to build the City reserves up to $7.6 million dollars."
Highlighting projects that are slated to be completed in 2016, Mayor Nelsen closed the Address with a thank you to City employees who work hard to keep a city of 130,000 people on track.
In closing, Nelsen said, "Know that this Council is going to continue to make decisions that will continue to make this community a great place to live, work and play!"