A Message from the Martinez Mayor
Aug 27, 2017 09:41PM
● By Rob Schroder
Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez
MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR
In 2008, Martinez voters overwhelmingly approved a $30 million bond to improve our downtown library, rebuild Rankin Park Pool, and improve every single park in the city. Not counting the abundant open space that blesses Martinez, the city has 16 parks.
The library project was completed in 2010, and the new pool opened in 2012. The renovation of Hidden Lakes, Cappy Ricks, Golden Hills, Nancy Boyd, Susana Street, Holiday Highlands, and Mt. View Parks have all been completed. Only Golden Hills Park, Highland Park, and Waterfront Park projects remain.
Waterfront Park is the last major park project in the city, and last month it moved one step closer to construction with the award of the construction bid to Suarez and Munoz. The total project cost, including design, consulting, contingencies and construction, is $8,939,831. Construction will commence later this summer and must be completed by June 1, 2018, or financial penalties will be assesed to the contractor.
Unfortuantely, the construction of Waterfront Park will displace the very popular Bay Area Craft Beer Festival that is held at the event meadow each year. The 2018 festival is scheduled for April 18, six weeks before the park will be completed. Main Street Martinez’ executive director and board are exploring alternative sites. If you have a creative solution to this challenge, be sure to give Main Street Martinez a call at 925-228-3577.
Since late 2016, the city council and staff have been working on bringing professional baseball to Martinez. The rebuilding of Waterfront Park dovetails nicely with the arrival of the Professional Association of Baseball Clubs and the Martinez Clippers in 2018. Additional improvements needed at ballfield 3 to accommodate a professional team have been identified and are currently being costed. These include bleachers, access control, safety netting, digital scoreboard, PA system, infield grass & irrigation, pitchers mound, and food & drink concessions. We expect to have those costs in front of the city council in late August or early September. Funds for these improvements will be identified and allocated soon afterward.
The Pacific Association of Baseball Clubs held their first owners’ meeting to start the planning of the 2018 season and the owners of the two new teams, the Napa Silverado’s and the Martinez Clippers, were in attendance. It is not an easy task to create a new professional baseball team, but we have creative and dedicated owners that possess a strong desire to give back to a community where they grew up and call home.
But it is not just about baseball and park improvements. Many things are coming together, including the master planning of the waterfront and marina. This includes the Hometown Hero Project that was kickstarted by Councilmember DeLaney and a group of community volunteers. Now that the Jolt’n Joe classic boat is restored after years of work by members of the carpenters union, with support from the Sons of Italy, it needs a home for the public to view and enjoy. It also needs to be easily removed from its future home to compete in classic boat shows and receive regular maintenance. Wooden boats are like barrels and need to be in the water to stay water tight.
The boat was recently trailered to Lake Tahoe and dropped into the water at Sierra Boat Company at Carnelean Bay for a promotional photo shoot. Professional photo journalist Noah Berger was commissioned by Gina Zagotta. Noah shot over 600 photos over a period of two hours. Those that I have seen show just how much of a jewel the Jolt’n Joe is and what a huge community asset we have here in Martinez.
The Martinez Clippers, the Jolt’n Joe, the Hometown Hero Project, the Master Planning of the Martinez Waterfront, enhancement of the Historic Train Station, the buzz in the downtown -- it is all coming together in Martinez.