Like everything else in 2020, Wildomar’s State of the City address by Mayor Dustin Nigg was held virtually and hosted by the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce online Thursday, Nov. 12.
“What year, right?” Nigg said. “You can probably imagine how pumped I was to be the mayor this year. Attend all the events, the ribbon-cuttings, the strategy sessions. 2020 was going to be the year for Wildomar. Psych. It didn’t quite go as planned. Who would have thought we’d see Disneyland close for the past six or seven months or no fans in sports stadiums? But here in the city of Wildomar it has been business as usual – kind of. Sure, many of us have been working from home, and City Hall has been closed to the public for the better part of the year. Again, who would have thought that? We’ve really been rockin’ and rollin’ this year, and I’m excited to share with you some details on why I believe we are in route for positive growth.”
Nigg said that Wildomar has 37,000 residents and the median age was 35.2.
“Our average household income is basically $100,000 a year,” he said. “The median home value is basically $400,000 – buying a home, chances are the selling price is up about $40,000 – and I know this is up from previous years, so kudos to our city.”
Nigg said the city presented a balanced budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 and they received a Government Finance Officers Association distinguished budget award.
“Looking at the city sales tax revenue in the fiscal year 2019-2020 the general fund is reflective of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, showing sales tax decrease of about 7% of amended budget,” Nigg said. “We will have a better understanding of the impact on the current fiscal year at our midyear report in January 2021.”
Nigg said Measure AA sales tax numbers came in 36% above budget.
“And reflects sales tax received from online sales and purchases by Wildomar residents and other neighboring communities,” he said. “Fiscal year 2019-2020 reflects the first full year of Measure AA activity. These enhanced services have been a great benefit to the residents of Wildomar. Our traffic safety officer has been really busy this past year from July 2019 to July 2020 he wrote, basically, 2,000 tickets. He has made 115 DUI arrests and assisted in 225 traffic collisions. This has a huge impact for the safety of our city.
“This previous October, the fire department took possession of our medic squad vehicle. The medic squad started on Jan. 6, using a borrowed vehicle from the county of Riverside. The medic squad responded to 681 calls in Wildomar and 289 calls outside of city limits,” he said.
Nigg talked with California state Sen. Melissa Melendez about homelessness.
“Homelessness in California has been on the rise in fact it has risen almost 33% just in the last six years and so what troubles me as a legislator is the fact that the state has spent over 3 billion dollars in the last six years on homelessness and the result has been a rise in homelessness,” Melendez said. “So I think that the money is better spent on local organizations like SWAG who are really making a difference to really getting things squared away and helping the people that need help. In partnering with the cities and law enforcement, that’s really the right way to do it.”
Nigg also talked about streets, one of the biggest issues in the city.
“Each year we have a long list of paving repairs and I’m sure you can suggest streets that you would like to repair,” Nigg said. “Our city engineering team continues to find funding opportunities and repair methods to address the big needs in the city.
“We also awarded a grant to repair several guardrails throughout the city from funds secured from federal grant. Our biggest celebration is the award of the Bundy Canyon widening project. The project will provide about a mile of four continuous lanes starting just east of the I-15 freeway. The installation of two traffic signals and to complete a missing section of storm drain pipe to between sellers and the freeway,” he said.
Nigg also talked about the renaming of five streets in the city into one, Wildomar Trail, as well as the cannabis ordinance the city council passed a few months ago.
“To date the city has received seven cannabis applications.” he said. “What I want to point out with cannabis is we are looking for the best of the best. Just because we have seven applicants doesn’t necessarily mean all seven of them will be approved. We meet as a council when those entities come before the dais has to present their business plan and the development agreement and everything else that goes along with operating. We need to feel comfortable that they’re going to be good neighbors to our residents and our businesses, that they’re going to provide a benefit to our community, and that they are going to be the rock stars that we want them to be.”
Also making an appearance on the video were Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale, Temecula Mayor Pro Tem Maryann Edwards, Murrieta Mayor Gene Wunderlich and Patrick Ellis, CEO of Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce.
The full video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWca0YiMc6k.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at email@example.com.