Murrieta declared a Purple Heart City, thanks residents for their support during the Tenaja Fire

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Murrieta was declared a Purple Heart City during the Sept. 17 city council meeting, thanking those men and women who are injured while serving their country.

“Declaring the city of Murrieta a Purple Heart City, whereas the citizens of Murrieta had great admiration and utmost gratitude for all the men and women who have selflessly served the country and this community,” Seyarto said, reading from the proclamation.

He thanked the veterans and service members in attendance for “placing themselves in harm’s way for the good of all.”

The city council designated Sept. 17 as the day to recognize citizens who received a Purple Heart in Murrieta.

They also declared a proclamation recognizing Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week. Representatives of The Daughters of the American Revolution came forward to accept the proclamation.

“It is a privilege and duty of the American people to commemorate the 232 anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America,” Seyarto said. “I ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the framers of the Constitution had in 1788, by vigilantly protecting the freedoms given to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.”

The Daughters of the American Revolution encouraged the public to read the Constitution during the week to understand their rights as citizens.

City manager Kim Summers came forward to thank Murrieta residents for their response during the Tenaja Fire. The fire blazed across nearly 2,000 acres, affecting families and businesses, injuring two citizens and fire personnel, according to Cal Fire.

“I would like to say on behalf of all the employees who staffed the Emergency Operations Center during the recent fires, we just wanted to thank all of our citizens who listened to our instructions when it came time to evacuate, everyone was so supportive,” Summers said, thanking local businesses who reached out in support. Summers also thanked Cal Fire, public safety personnel and first responders.

The cooperation of the city made it easier to get resources in to help with aid, Seyarto said.

“It could have been quite disastrous,” Summers said. “But the community pulled together, and we were able to prevent that.”

Next the council heard an update on the Scott Road I-215 Interchange Project. The project was estimated at $56 million and will affect many residents in east Murrieta, council member Christi White said. Some improvements include re-aligning the northbound on-ramp and widening it to three lanes, as well as adding a northbound off-ramp loop and southbound on-ramp loop to improve traffic flow. More details on the project and other improvements can be found on the city of Menifee’s website, www.cityofmenifee.us.

“It’s on time and will be completed at the end of the year,” White said.

As the meeting progressed, Capt. Tony Conrad of the Murrieta Police Department came forward and addressed the council on a grant recently awarded by State Homeland Security, which the department applied for in 2017. The grant asked for an armored tactical vehicle, according to Conrad.

“It would allow us in responding to a number of events, things like active shooters, rescues, S.W.A.T. operations, terrorism related events,” Conrad said.

While there are currently 180 of these vehicles in California, the closest one is in Hemet.

“We serve about 400,000 people, and this would be a regional asset in the area,” Conrad said.

The grant was awarded in 2018, and the award letter received this year granted $196,000 for the vehicle, Conrad said, adding that they have identified a vendor to build it.

For more information on the agenda and its items, as well as the video link to the meeting, visit http://murrieta-prod.civica.granicusops.com/cityhall/clerk/council/agenda.asp.

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.