Mesa Verde Community News
In an effort to keep Mesa Verde residents informed about their community and the changes that are either well on the way or planned for the future, the community council would like to invite residents to attend Mesa Verde Community Council meetings on the second Wednesday of each month, at 6 p.m. in the new community center on the south end of Lime Street.
The community council meetings are combined with the County Service Area Advisory Board meetings, since the same council members sit on both panels.
In addition, the council plans community updates, which will be posted here on Supervisor Wilson’s 4th District website at www.rivco4.org.
Mesa Verde Board Members include Carol Wylet, Max Schoenrock. Sharon Essary and Darryl Van Warmer, with Sharon Essary serving as chair. One position on the Board is open, and members of the community are encouraged to apply. Requirements are very minimal; a willingness to serve your community and to attempt to improve it are most important.
Recent meetings have featured several guest speakers with various reports on Mesa Verde happenings and improvements that will be taking place in the next six months to a year. The following items were taken from the January meeting; updates from the March meeting will be available in the near future.
Mojahed Salama of the Riverside County Transportation Department at the January meeting discussed the emergency alternate route being planned for the community, in case the freeway interchange becomes unusable. There are at this time some issues of right-of-way acquisition, but those problems are expected to be ironed out in the near future, so that the gravel emergency route—which runs south on Mesa Drive and ends up going down the mesa on Seeley Avenue—can be completed sometime later this year. The alternate route should be able to handle all local community traffic as well as commercial traffic that may have to be diverted off the interstate.
This emergency route will be able to accommodate emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances. Ingress and egress will be possible for regular two-wheel drive passenger cars, as well.
Mr. Salama also reported that paving all the streets in Mesa Verde should begin in April or May. This includes unpaved roads on the west side of Mesa Drive as well as the east end of Green St, Citrus, and Nicholls Road.
Investigator Juan Espinosa from the Sheriff’s Department gave a short report that things at this point are quiet. Investigator Espinosa introduced Capt. Jim Carney, the Colorado River station Commander.
The Chief Commander of the Riverside Fire Department in this region gave a report on burn control and stated that burn days are regulated by the Sate of California and are set in Sacramento. The area covered by this battalion of the fire department extends from Chiriaco Summit to the Colorado River and from the Imperial County line north to the San Bernardino County line. Anyone who wants to burn should call the local fire department for information. Farmers are covered by different guidelines than businesses and private residents. The matter of emergency preparedness was also covered; each person should have a bare minimum of 72 hours of necessary supplies—more is better. Since the Palo Verde Valley is so isolated, we will be one of the last to be assisted in case of a major disaster.
George Gianos from the Riverside Code Enforcement Department stated that during our last community clean up there was 39 tons of trash collected in a four hour period. Things went very smoothly. Another community trash pick up is scheduled for April 11. Hopefully everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to clean up their lots. George said that after the clean up he conducted an inspection and assessment of the community. He noted there were a few that needed to comply with the next clean-up; most of these cases were rubbish.
Gordon Beers of the Palo Verde Disposal gave a report on why trash billing went to a quarterly cycle, instead of monthly. Basically, he said, it was designed to reduce the expense of billing. If you want to continue paying on a monthly basis, you can, but you will only be actually billed quarterly. Call Palo Verde Disposal if you have questions. Also, bulk items or landscaping debris can be picked up, by first calling Palo Verde Disposal and arranging for them to pick them up. These items can be sofas, refrigerators, or items to large to put in a trash containers.
Mike Palladino, Project Manager for “First Solar Electric.” The corporate office is in Tempe, Arizona. With offices in New York, New Jersey and a European office in Mainz, Germany. They have acquired 200 acres southwest of Mesa Verde. The local facility will be a fixed mounted system instead of the rotating type systems that are in use, which has the advantage of not needing motors to rotate the array. The cost of the project will be approximately 65 million dollars. The project is scheduled to start in April or May, with most of the hiring to be done locally. The construction should be completed in December 2009. Peak energy efficiency would take place in April and May with July and August being the least productive; there will be no upward glare from the panels, so there would be no interference with regard to aircraft over head.
Joaquin Tijerina from the Riverside County Economic Development Agency presented two different sketches for the community center; this will be a 5200 sq. ft. building half of which will be a child development center for newborn through pre-school aged children; there will be large community room to be used for various community meetings. Palo Verde College would consider holding classes in the center; also to be included will be small individual offices for DACE and or other administrative offices. It will have solar power for energy efficiency. Hopefully all will be approved sometime in April with construction to begin in June; Construction time will be approximately 8-10 months.
DACE Director Jeff Hays updated us on the five new homes that are going into Mesa Verde; two are going on the west side of Mesa Drive and three on the east side. Three are three bedroom, two bath units and two are four bedroom units. He encouraged everyone to apply as there is funding available to assist with down payments. In addition, there are 6 more units being refurbished for rentals on Green Street. He also talked about the new grocery store in the old Imperial building in the K-Mart shopping center. (It opened on Jan. 19.) Just east of the store will be a new pharmacy and west of the Ranch Market will be a craft type store with various fashion items in it. Jeff also talked about the Blythe food pantry and the fact $250,000 has been set aside to aside to assist farm workers. This has been funded thru the USDA.
Steve Jones, Manager of CSA #122 explained the discrepancy between “last year to date” and “year to date” totals was because the billing for December had not yet “gone the cycle” and was unable to be added in to the final total. He explained that all is in order with the water upgrades that are taking place at the airport. A water treatment plant will also be built for treatment of the water to Mesa Verde.