A Positive Outlook for the City of Pleasant Hill
Apr 01, 2016 12:41PM
● By Sue Noack
Sue Noack, Pleasant Hill Mayor
On February 19, I had the pleasure of giving my “State of the City” address at the Pleasant Hill Chamber’s Mayor’s Breakfast, held at the Senior Center. For many reasons, the outlook for Pleasant Hill is very bright, with an exciting few years ahead of us. Here’s a brief recap of some of the issues I covered during my presentation.
Increased revenues with more investment in programs and services
The city’s general fund revenues have increased steadily over the past six years, going from $18m in 2010 to more than $21m in 2016. While revenue from property taxes has remained consistent, our sales tax revenues have contributed significantly to the city’s finances by increasing from $6m in 2010 to more than $8m in this fiscal year.
Sales tax revenue alone makes up 38% of our general fund, and for this and other reasons, the city actively supports and engages with our thriving business community. I’m delighted to welcome some new businesses to Pleasant Hill, including Orchard Supply Hardware, Vitality Bowls, and Siren’s Sandwich Shop, to name but a few.
The city has successfully managed to keep expenditures under control while paying down our unfunded pension liabilities, and it has invested more money in our street resurfacing program, storm drain maintenance and funding additional library hours. Despite these additional costs, the city’s reserve (or rainy day fund) will be almost $12m by the end of the fiscal year.
Capital Improvement Projects
Our engineering staff has been busy throughout 2015 on multiple projects around the city. More than $22m of infrastructure improvements were completed, including Geary Road and Contra Costa Blvd. enhancements, Golf Club Road Bridge replacement, and street resurfacing.
2016 will see new sidewalks along Boyd Road and Elinora Drive, additional improvements to Contra Costa Blvd., and the construction of the city’s first roundabout at the intersection of Old Quarry Road and Golf Club Road. We will also be giving City Hall a badly needed makeover by repainting the entire complex.
New entryway signs into the city
You might be surprised to know that we have 11 ‘pagoda’ style entryway signs into Pleasant Hill, although you probably don’t notice most of them when driving around. This summer, you will start to see the replacement of most of these ‘pagodas,’ with new gateway and wayfinding signs throughout the city. I’m very excited about the new signage, and I’m sure you will be too.
A new library for Pleasant Hill
As you may know, our current library building is over 50 years old and in serious need of replacement. Despite operating in an obsolete and outdated facility, the dedicated staff and volunteers at Pleasant Hill Library, led by Senior Librarian Patrick Remer, continue to provide enthusiastic and exemplary service to patrons. In fact, our library is one of the most widely used in Contra Costa County, with between 1,200 and 1,600 users daily. Events such as Storytime, Maker Mondays, and Night of 1,000 Inventions are among the most popular of any in the county library system. We need to build a new community library, and the city is taking the lead on this exciting project. As mayor and member of the Library Task Force, I am determined to make this a reality sooner rather than later. Contra Costa County is also eager to assist in this endeavor, and we are working with county staff to facilitate the construction of the new library. There is obviously still much that needs to be done before we break ground on a new facility, but the city is committed to making it happen. For more information about the Library Task Force, check out www.pleasanthillca.org/library.