Interim City Manager Steve Schwabauer's
Friday, April 25, 2014
Sales tax: Sales activity increased 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, according to HdL, our sales tax consultant. The auto and transportation categories outpaced county and statewide trends, and restaurants and hotels were another bright spot. Lodi’s overall increase led all cities in San Joaquin County. Councilman Johnson recently noted an increase in business in downtown, an observation supported by the reported 8.5-percent increase in downtown sales in the October-December period, according to HdL. Our sales tax receipts are tracking closely to our estimates for FY 2013/14.
Property tax: Staff will be meeting next week with the county administrator and county staff regarding Lodi’s property tax-sharing agreement with the county, as well as the county facility fee.
Façade work: The Site Plan and Architectural Review Committee on Wednesday approved façade improvements for Mokelumne Station, the commercial center at Cherokee Lane and Pioneer Drive. This will be a significant facelift, which, along with a new Fire Station 2 and Tractor Supply coming to the former Orchard Supply site, will result in a brighter look for Cherokee Lane and the entrance into Lodi off State Route 99.
Trees: A number of trees in the Youth Area at Lodi Lake Park are being trimmed, if not cut down completely, to address safety issues. Approximately seven large branches have fallen from cottonwood trees in recent months, with a large limb dropping from a tree on Tuesday. We closed the Youth Area Tuesday afternoon and it remains closed today for the needed pruning and cutting. We are hoping to reopen the Youth Area this weekend. The Recreation Commission will receive a report on park trees at its monthly meeting on May 6 and the City Council will receive the staff report in advance.
Business marketing: The manager met with representatives of the business community who are asking that the City consider producing marketing materials to help attract business to Lodi. A member of a marketing firm in Southern California that specializes in graphic arts and design also participated in the discussion.
FY 2014/15 budget: The City’s budget team has completed all of its budget meetings with departments. Aside from a few small open points that need clearing up, we are ready to begin a series of budget presentations at Shirtsleeve sessions starting May 6. The budget adoption meeting is tentatively scheduled for the June 4 regular meeting.
More volunteerism: The LDS Church will be out in force this weekend performing community service projects throughout Lodi.