Mayor's Message Martinez
Oct 30, 2017 01:11PM
● By Rob Schroder
By Rob Schroder
It has been almost a year since I received an email with the subject line “Baseball in Martinez” from Kevin Reilly, owner of the Vallejo Admirals professional baseball team. Kevin introduced himself and asked if I was interested in meeting to discuss bringing professional baseball to Martinez. After missing the opportunity to bring a team to Martinez in 2015, I was excited at this second opportunity.
I met with Kevin and his marketing manager, Chris, for lunch a few days later. The meeting lasted for hours as we went over the expansion plans of the Pacific Association of Baseball, team operations, sponsorships, advertising, concessions, community involvement, and team ownership. When the meeting was over, I was assigned the task of developing a list of community members to move the effort forward. The first person I called was the executive director of Main Street Martinez, Leanne Peterson.
Since that time, we were able to secure a team owner willing to invest substantial assets into developing and operating a Martinez baseball team. With full support from the city council, city staff worked for months identifying opportunities and challenges, estimating additional maintenance costs and costs for additional field improvements not already included in the planned waterfront park project. On October 4, the city council unanimously approved a Letter of Intent that allocates up to $400,000 in additional capital improvements to field three and commits the team owners to pay the balance of the franchise fee to the Pacific Association of Baseball. Over the next eight months, the owners will build their baseball team and the city will oversee capital improvements, coordinate field scheduling, and work on new park maintenance operations. Opening day will be June 1, 2018.
The annual pavement rehabilitation projects are happening all over the city. Most notably is the full dig out and repaving of Center Avenue over Highway 4 and Morello Avenue under Highway 4. Those intersections handle thousands of vehicles every day and were long overdue for upgrades. Our paving contractor is currently working in many residential neighborhoods throughout the city. City crews are doing smaller repairs that include Morello Heights, St. Mary’s, Pine Meadows, Meadowvale, Snow, Wanda Way, Pine and Degnan Drive. Once Measure D and SB1 Funds are programmed, many more paving projects will move forward.
Marina and Ferry
We finally received our final permit to dredge the marina, and the contractor starts operations immediately. Over 32,000 cubic yards of siltation will be removed from the marina, opening up the mouth of the marina and clearing the throughway, guest dock, and A and B docks. This will also allow the long anticipated private ferry service to use the marina as a landing site.
New Business Downtown
Downtown continues to become more vibrant as more retrofitted buildings are completed and new tenants move in. The former Alley Cats/Leo Marchi building has been sold and has been under reconstruction for about a month. The owner is a Martinez resident who will open Troy Greek Cuisine. Del Cielo Brewery is taking shape with the recent delivery and installation of stainless steel tanks and other equipment. I look forward to the grand opening of these new additions to downtown.