Mayor Picture

Mayor’s Update

August 2015


Dear Residents,

The City of Watsonville strives to provide excellent customer service. We are committed to providing programs and services that will create a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly community.

Here is a short list of the many exciting things happening in Watsonville:

Solving New Challenges to Our Water System

Currently, new State drinking water regulations and aging water pipelines are posing new financial challenges to our community’s water system. In 2014, California became the first state to set a drinking water regulation specifically for chromium-6. Chromium 6 is an element that naturally exists in the soil and rock surrounding our groundwater wells which then dissolves into the groundwater.

Our Water Division is working hard to meet the new standard as quickly and economically as possible. However, this unfunded mandate will cost $20 Million. This is ten times our regular annual expenses for water projects. The only feasible way to fund projects like these is a combination of low interest loans, grants and customer fees. The City’s proposed rate change is necessary to maintain the current level of service and meet new regulations. Despite the challenges, Watsonville will find ways to keep providing our community with safe, reliable drinking water at the lowest rates in the county. A public meeting will be held during the regular City Council Meeting of September 8th where City utility customers will have the opportunity to provide input to the City regarding proposed rate changes. The Public Meeting will be held on September 8, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located at 275 Main St., 4th Floor. For information call 768-3100.

 ​City Beautification Starts with Each of Us!

The City appreciates your efforts in water reduction, and applauds our residents for reducing water by 26% for the month of June! Some residents have totally given up watering their lawns. However, despite the drought, weeds continue to grow and form. It has been noticed that many sidewalks, streets and gutters are becoming overgrown with weeds.

Please continue to mow your lawn area, remove weeds in your sidewalks and gutters, and keep weed growth to a minimum. Under the City’s Municipal Code, it is the responsibility of each resident to remove weeds in the sidewalks, gutters and streets in front of their properties. Beautification starts with all of us and we need your assistance. Small things do matter and you can and do make a difference!

“Wings Over Watsonville” Free Fly-in Sept. 4th & 5th

The Fly-in fun starts Friday, September 4th at 5:00 p.m. with aircraft arrivals and a children’s movie night featuring Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” on the terminal lawn at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 5th, the Fly-in begins with a pancake breakfast, arrivals of antique and historic aircraft and the roll out of Watsonville’s “working aircraft”. We invite our community to see what an incredible asset the Watsonville Municipal Airport is for our region. Join us at the fly-in. It’s fun, family-friendly and FREE! Visit the Watsonville Municipal Airport’s “Wings Over Watsonville” website page: http://cityofwatsonville.org/municipal-airport/wings-over-watsonville-fly-in-2 for complete details on the schedule, site maps, and vendors. For more information contact Theresa Byers at 768-3575.

 Street Sweeping

Street sweeping signs have been posted on various streets in the community as part of the Street Sweeping Program. Garbage and debris must be kept out of the storm drains as part of the Clean Water Act. The next phase of street sweeping signs will be on East Lake Avenue and will from Lincoln Street to Tuttle Avenue. The goal is to have street sweeping consistent throughout the City of Watsonville. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

 Keeping Up With Watsonville

 Santa Cruz County 211:  211 is an easy to remember, toll-free phone number that connects callers with local community services, such as food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality child care and more. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call 211.

Coastal Cleanup Day:  Join Neighborhood Services and Public Works staff on September 19th to keep Watsonville clean and beautiful by participating in the Coastal Cleanup Day event. Clean up materials will be provided. For information contact Neighborhood Services at 763-5678.

Main Street Project: The Main Street beautification/safety project is taking place from East Beach to Riverside Drive. Signals will be synchronized with traffic flow. Remember this is a temporary situation and we hope to generate public input once the temporary changes are implemented.

Family Days Birding Festival: September 26th & 27thAre you looking for something the whole family can enjoy together? If you have ever wondered what birdwatching was all about, now is your chance! As part of the Monterey Bay Birding Festival, the City′s Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center in Ramsay Park invites you and your children to the free, bilingual “Family Days” on Sept. 26th and 27th, 2015. Join us for a bird watching adventure along our City trails, or enjoy children′s activities at the Nature Center. For information regarding Family Days call the Nature Center at 768-1622.

Feathered fun includes:

  •  Family bird watching outings
  • Arts and crafts
  • Science activities
  • Books, games, and puppet shows

I love to hear from our community, so please feel free to email me directly at: nancy.bilicich@cityofwatsonville.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nancy Bilicich

Mayor