Volume 54 | September 2021
INDIO CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Pro Tem
NEWS OF INDIO
WHAT'S NEW INDIO

From new housing, to new retail, restaurants and office buildings, the City is busier than ever. Driving around town, as ground gets graded and walls go up, you might be curious about what is opening In(dio):
  • Golf Center Parkway & Ave. 45 (new TKB bakery and restaurant: construction underway)
  • Highway 111 & Monroe (Indio Marketplace revitalization: building plans submitted)
  • Indio Blvd. & Ave. 44 (Dairy Queen: under construction)
  • Highway 111 & Las Palmas (Dutch Bros. Coffee: now open!)
  • Highway 111 & Las Palmas (Dunn Edwards Paint: now open!)
BEST INDIO

Some of Indio's 'best' were recognized by readers far and wide this summer! Kudos to these Indio locales and eateries getting attention across the country.

  • Motorcoach Country Club: For the second year in a row, this self-described "crown jewel of motorcoach resorts" in Indio was named "Best Luxury RV Resort" in the country by USA Today's 10 Best. Motorcoach CC features scenic beauty and the amenities of an exclusive resort, including regular activities and events, and more than two miles of recreational waterways. "This is an amazing honor for us," said Paul Johnson, General Manager of Motorcoach Country Club. "Being voted number one is outstanding. Being voted number one by guests, members and USA Today readers for a second time is a massive compliment. I'm very proud of our entire team that works hard to deliver a 5-star experience every single day to our members and guests alike."
  • El Mexicali Cafe: In addition to celebrating 40 years in business along the train tracks that made Indio such a historic location, El Mexicali Cafe is also celebrating its status as Palm Springs Life Magazine's "Best of the Best 2021: Mexican." “My mother’s motto was always ‘good food, good service — it’ll be a good business,’” owner Monica Murguia told PS Life. “We’ve been here ever since, living by that standard.”
  • Unique Bite Eatery & TKB Bakery & Deli: Volume and great ratings earned two Indio restaurants a top 10 position in Yelp's Top Restaurants in the Inland Empire this summer. Unique Bite's dinner and take-out menus are mouth watering, and TKB is a go-to for huge portions and tasty sandwiches we can't get enough of. Watch for TKB's expansion to a new location on Golf Center Parkway soon!
INDIO'S STREETS ARE TREATS!

Come experience how Indio’s streets could be treats for the community! 

Join the City of Indio on Saturday, October 30th, 2021 as we host Indio’s Streets are Treats.  This Halloween-themed event is a partnership with the Southern California Association of Government, the Indio Food Park, and other local organizations. We will transform Miles Avenue and Smurr Street with pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure treatments. Check out how artistic crosswalks, buffered bike lanes, parklets, and local art could transform Indio’s streets as a treat for the community by creating a safer and more enjoyable space for people to walk and bike. The event will take place from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. along Miles Avenue and Smurr Street, adjacent to the Indio Food Park.

Indio’s Streets are Treats is a part of the regional Go Human active mobility and safety campaign, which seeks to reduce traffic collisions and encourage more walking and biking throughout Southern California. 

Join the City for this fun, educational, and family-friendly event! 

Únase a la ciudad de Indio el sábado 30 de octubre de 2021 cuando presentaremos Indio's Streets Are Treats. Este evento con temática de Halloween es una unión con la Asociación de Gobierno del Sur de California, Indio Food Park y otras organizaciones locales. Transformaremos Miles Avenue y Smurr Street con tratamientos de infraestructura peatonales y para bicicletas. Vea cómo los pasos de peatones artísticos, los carriles bici protegidos, los parklets y el arte local transformarán las calles de Indio en un espacio más seguro y agradable para que las personas caminen y anden en bicicleta. El evento se llevará a cabo de 4:00 pm a 8:00 pm, a lo largo de Miles Avenue y Smurr Street, junto al Indio Food Park.

Indio's Streets Are Treats es parte de la campaña regional de movilidad áctiva y seguridad Go Human, cual meta es reducir las colisiones de tráfico y fomentar andar en pie y el ciclismo en todo el sur de California.

¡Únase a la ciudad para este evento divertido, educativo y familiar!
MINOR HOME REPAIRS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

New, functioning air conditioning for a resident who’d recently undergone heart surgery, repairs done to a home damaged by fire, new shingles for a home nearly five decades old to help with leaks and insulation. Work is now complete for five Indio homeowners assisted by the City’s Minor Home Repair Program (MHRP).

“Seeing the huge impacts minor home repairs can make in the lives of those with a fixed income, or those who are home-bound is truly incredible,” said Mayor Elaine Holmes. “We are excited to make more positive impacts in our community among residents most in need of help.”

Indio’s MHRP launched in November of 2019 using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to conduct small repairs such as plumbing, electrical, roofing and HVAC replacement. Several recipients were selected, homes inspected, and contractors chosen. However, due to the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, the program came to a halt in March 2020.

The program resumed in January 2021, with new inspections and proposals from contractors. Late this summer, final repairs were conducted at the homes of the first five participating residents, which included seniors and adults with disabilities. In addition, a new A/C unit was installed in time for summer, and two restrooms were remodeled. The first to assist a resident who is wheelchair bound, and another who had difficulties getting in and out of the bathtub.

“One home had been damaged by a fire and the resident badly needed help with countertops for the kitchen and bathrooms,” said Juan Rodriguez, who manages the program as a Development Analyst for the City of Indio. “The last year had been especially tough for this man because of recent back surgery, cancer complications and the loss of his wife due to COVID-19. In the end, he was so happy to see it all come together, and wished his wife was there to see how nice the kitchen looks now.”

Up to 20 additional homeowners will receive help this fiscal year through Indio’s MHRP, and more applications could be considered in a future round of funding. For details on similar programs, go to the Housing and Neighborhood Services division on the City of Indio’s website.

INDIO PAYS TRIBUTE TO FALLEN U.S. MARINE CPL. HUNTER LOPEZ

Indio lost a native son with the death in Kabul of U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez on August 26, 2021, while Riverside County also lost Marine LCpl. Kareem Mae’Lee Grant Nikoui of Norco and LCpl. Dylan Merola of Rancho Cucamonga in the same attack. The City of Indio mourns alongside the Lopez family, whose service to our community and our nation, could be recognized as among the most exemplary. On behalf of the City, we offer our most sincere condolences to Hunter’s family, and will fly our flags at half-staff in his honor. As a U.S. Marine, Hunter chose bravery and sacrifices that many do not, and we are forever grateful for his commitment to our country.

The City of Indio will continue to honor and remember Lopez, 22, with a photo memorial and yellow roses to be placed in the shade of a large Afghan pine tree on the west side of City Hall. The public is invited to pay their respects to Lopez, by leaving items of remembrance and tribute at this location through September 11, 2021.

The photo memorial reads “In grateful memory of the service and sacrifice of U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez. You are forever a son of Indio.”

“Hunter was selfless in his desire to serve his country and in so doing paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes. “Thank you Hunter, and all whose lives were lost, and all who serve, for fighting to protect our freedom.”

The Indio City Council also honored Lopez at their scheduled meeting on August 30, 2021 and plans to continue to do so at future events. For additional details, go to Indio.org.
INDIO ELECTION INFORMATION

On September 14 voters in Indio and across California are eligible to cast ballots in the gubernatorial recall election. Those who register to vote after August 30 can pick up a provisional ballot at the Registrar of Voters, 2724 Gateway Drive, Riverside, CA 92507, or your nearest polling place. A number of vote-By-Mail Drop-Off Locations are also open in Indio.

BALLOT DROP OFF LOCATIONS IN INDIO:

  • Indio City Hall, 100 Civic Center Mall, Indio, CA (8/16/21 - 9/13/21 during regular city business hours; and Election Day, 9/14/21, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Indio Community Center, 45871 Clinton Street, Indio, CA (8/16/21 - 9/13/21, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Election Day, 9/14/21, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Riverside County Office of Education, 47110 Calhoun Street, Indio, CA (8/16/21 - 9/13/21, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.and Election Day, 9/14/21, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

POLLING PLACE LOCATIONS IN INDIO:

September 11, 2021 - September 13, 2021, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Election Day, September 14, 2021, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Indio Community Center, Board Room, 45871 Clinton Street, Indio, CA
  • Indio Public Library, Meeting Room, 200 Civic Center Mall, Indio, CA
  • Old Indio Police Substation, Main Room, 82867 Miles Avenue, Indio, CA
  • Riverside County Office of Education, Conference Room, 126 & 127, 47110 Calhoun Street, Indio, CA
  • Shadow Hills High School Gymnasium, 39225 Jefferson Street, Indio, CA

Early voting will be available at the Westfield Mall in Palm Desert, September 3 to 5, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Registrar of Voters Office will also be open on Saturday, September 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

145 polling places will be open on September 11 to 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Registered Voters must vote at their assigned polling place this year.

Social Distancing will be required and face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Election results will be released between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on election night.
NEW PEDIATRIC SPORTS MEDICINE CARE AVAILABLE AT LLUCH INDIO

A $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will expand pediatric sports medicine care in the valley through Loma Linda University Children’s Health (LLUCH). With the opening of LLUCH – Indio in 2018 and thousands of valley children participating in organized sports, the need for specialized care became evident quickly.
 
“Diagnosis and treatment for child athletes is much different than adults, because their physical development is still underway," said Dr. Jonathan Smits, a Board Certified pediatric sports medicine physician at LLUCH – Indio. “If not treated appropriately, musculoskeletal injuries can follow a child into adulthood causing future healthcare issues and physical limitations.”
 
Grant funds will purchase some of the initial equipment needed to help build the new program at the location in Downtown Indio, such as a hand-held ultrasound machine and a portable automated defibrillator (AED) to support patients in the field. Funds will also purchase durable medical equipment, including knee and ankle braces, splint/casting supplies and other sports medicine equipment.

Already, about 4,000 patients receive care through the Indio clinic at 82-934 W. Civic Center Dr., and a dedicated pediatrician certified in sports medicine will provide expertise in injury prevention, treatment and management with an emphasis on preserving future growth and function and safe-to-return play. 
 
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Loma Linda University Children’s Health was featured on News Channel 3 programming, in public service announcements and on kesq.com throughout August. For more information visit www.lluch.org or call 909-558-5366. LLUCH – Indio is located at 82-934 W. Civic Center Dr., Indio.
BACK TO SCHOOL FOR INDIO P.D.

All of the Desert Sands Unified School District schools in Indio returned in-person on August 18, 2021. Indio Police Department's School Resource Officers were excited to help welcome all of the students back to campus. Indio P.D. has a few new faces assigned to our School Resource Officer unit this year that we would like to introduce to our community! 
 
Please join us in welcoming the following officers for the 2021-2022 School year:
 
  • Officer Abe Plata is assigned to Amistad High School. "It’s exciting to see the positive energy from the school staff and students at Amistad High School," said Officer Plata. "We look forward to having a great year!"
  • Officer Javier Romero is assigned to Shadow Hills High School and Desert Ridge Academy. 
  • Officer Nicholas Herington is assigned to Thomas Jefferson Middle, Indio Middle, and John Glenn Middle Schools. 
  • Officer Felipe Escalante is assigned to Indio High School. "Being a School Resource Officer allows me to be a mentor/counselor and role mole for the youth," he added. "Building rapport with the youth is priceless and will positively affect the youth's life. It also allows humanizing the badge based on the interactions officers have with students and staff."
 
We would like to wish all of our Indio SRO’s, students, and school faculty an incredible school year!
X-TOWN RIVALRY RETURNS TO INDIO ATHLETICS

A return to school means fall sports! In Indio that means a familiar rivalry. That's right, Indio High School versus Shadow Hills High School!

We started off with volleyball on Wednesday, August 18. The Lady Rajahs varsity team kicked off the start of the pre-season with a strong 3-0 win against the Lady Knights. Great win Rajahs!

Next up we continued the week with football on Friday, August 20, for the 5th Annual Mayor's Cup game! The pride of Indio was celebrated, and the spirit and fun was in full force. The Knights took home the win against the Rajahs with a score of 35-0. An amazing win for Shadow Hills!

And finally, the week concluded with cross country at the 3rd Annual Dual in the Desert on Saturday August 21. Richie DeTamble, SHHS Cross Country coach said, via an Instagram post, "It was definitely competitive and a great tune-up for our first meet in a couple weeks. Great turnout, great energy, and great sportsmanship!" Both the Knights and Rajahs ran a two-mile course at the Empire Polo Club, with the Knights coming on top for both boys and girls. SH girls won 17-44, while SH boys won 23-38. Great win, Knights!
FALLING FOR THE CV HISTORY MUSEUM

When was the last time you visited the Coachella Valley History Museum? This beautiful and historic location in Downtown Indio was recently voted Best Attraction and Best Tour in Indio by Palm Springs Life Magazine, and is reopening to the public with new Fall Hours!

September: Saturday & Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
October: Thurs., Fri., Sat., & Mon. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In addition, the CV History Museum’s newest exhibit, “Salton Sea Stories,” opens October 16th and tells the pioneer story of Helen Burns, her family, and how they created a thriving marina at the Salton Sea during the peak of its popularity as a resort destination.

Coachella Valley History Museum’s 9th Annual Día De Los Muertos Celebration & Fundraiser is also back and happening November 6, 2021. Get involved by becoming a sponsor of this unique, local, multicultural event. CVHM’s Día De Los Muertos event has always featured beautiful ofrendas (altars) created by local organizations and families with long-established roots to the Coachella Valley, delicious Mexican food, tequila tastings, live music, silent auction, and more. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please call 760.774.7479 or email secondvp@cvhm.org. For more information, visit https://www.cvhm.org/happening.html.

Thinking about holding an event for your business, family, friends or nonprofit? Book your next gathering, celebration, or wedding at one of CVHM’s beautiful venues. The CVHM Campus is a unique and historical site capable of hosting events from intimate gatherings to business retreats to galas. Six indoor and outdoor options for 20 to 1,600 guests are available:
  • Water Tower Promenade
  • Gazebo Lawn
  • Medjool Auditorium
  • 1909 Schoolhouse
  • Date Garden
  • Pioneer Hall

To schedule a tour of these event spaces, call 760.342.5878 or email events@cvhm.org. More information about event space rental is also available at https://www.cvhm.org/events.html.
ALL INDIO ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

The City of Indio is ramping up efforts to educate the community about how to be prepared in the event of an emergency during National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year.

Each Wednesday in September from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Emergency Operations Center Manager Dennis Day is partnering with Indio businesses to provide emergency preparedness materials and share valuable strategies to our community’s individuals, families, pets and businesses. Participants who come by the booth at these events will also have an opportunity to win a deluxe emergency preparedness kit by signing up for Indio Live, and obtain free PPE, including disposable gloves and masks.

• Sept 1: Walmart (82491 Ave 42)
• Sept 8: Dollar General (43423 Monroe Street)
• Sept 15: Home Depot (42100 Jackson Street)
• Sept 22: Tractor Supply Co (42625 Jackson Street)
• Sept 29: Yellowmart (82470 Miles Avenue)

Day is a familiar face with the new title. Previously an employee with the Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Day was recently hired by the City of Indio to provide emergency management guidance to the City and run the City’s Emergency Operations Center.

“Emergency management is one of those vital municipal services; it’s the third pillar of public safety along with law enforcement and fire service” added Day. Day also participated in a Facebook Live event on the City of Indio’s Facebook page to promote these events and discuss emergency preparedness strategies.

City of Indio employees will have a new and comprehensive training and exercise plan, to be implemented in time for National Preparedness Month. Employees will be trained on Incident Command Systems, and learn their roles during a potential activation of the City’s Emergency Operations Center.

These trainings, along with employee education on emergency preparedness, household communications plans, and an opportunity to attend Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training will ensure Indio employees are prepared for a large-scale emergency in the City.

To learn more about Indio’s National Preparedness Month, and obtain resources on how to prepare for Earthquakes and other natural disasters, go to the Emergency Preparedness page on the City of Indio’s website

RAIL SAFETY MONTH REMINDERS

While the speed and power of trains make for a fantastic commute and way to transport goods, it can also be deadly for distracted cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. In fact, California leads the nation in railroad related injuries and deaths. This why the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) want you to remember when you, “See Tracks? Think Train!” especially in September, which is Rail Safety Month.

For more information on Rail Safety, visit www.oli.org. Operation Lifesaver is an international, non-profit educational organization that seeks to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities at railroad crossings and the railroad right-of-way. Please talk to your family and friends about the dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks. To coordinate a rail safety presentation for your neighborhood association or local community group, simply email your request to RailSafetyEducation@rctc.org. 
TAKE CARE OF YOUR FURRY FRIENDS

Animal services for the City of Indio are provided by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services (RCDAS). RCDAS is reponsible for addressing animal related issues in Indio like licensing, sheltering, adoptive services, and enforcing county animal policies. In addition, the City of Indio provides funding to Coachella Animal Network for low-cost mobile microchipping, spay and neuter, licensing, and vaccines for pets. September's spay & neuter clinic is already full, but no appointment is needed to license, microchip or get your pet up-to-date on needed vaccines at CAN's clinic at the ABC Recovery Center from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on September 18, 2021.
RCDAS provides a number of ways for you to connect with your forever furry friend at www.rcdas.org:
  • Are you looking for your missing pet? You can view find pictures of animals on-line.
  • Want to make sure that your animal gets home safely? Make sure he is microchipped and always wearing a collar and ID/License. Visit www.rcdas.org to get your dog licensed today. And a microchip is only as good as a current address. If your pet is microchipped please contact the microchip company to make sure your address is up to date. 
  • If you have a current license, RCDAS will bring your animal back home to you rather than the shelter. 
  • Did you know that it is the law to have your dog licensed, microchipped, vaccinated and spay/neutered? We want to help you. For assistance visit www.rcdas.org  
  • Pet Adoption makes a family complete. Visit www.rcdas.org to see pets that need a home
REIMAGINE A NEW HIGHWAY 111

The City continues its progress developing a new vision for private properties and public spaces along 3.9 miles on Highway 111 between Indio Boulevard and Jefferson Street. The Highway 111 Corridor Specific Plan will be a strategic action plan for the future revitalization of Highway 111 that will:

  • create strategies for the production of a minimum of 500 new housing units within the corridor (including market-rate and affordable and workforce housing)
  • develop new and updated zoning and development standards to implement the land use and transportation patterns envisioned by the Mixed Use Neighborhood and Midtown land use designations in the Indio General Plan 2040
  • prepare revitalization tactics to physically improve the corridor’s public and private properties to balance a quality built environment and enhanced aesthetics with financial feasibility
  • create sustainable economic development approaches that meet the service needs of residents and businesses, and that provide for increased workforce employment opportunities in the corridor (particularly for family wage jobs)

The Highway 111 Specific Plan will replace the existing Central Highway 111 Specific Plan and the Mixed-Use Specific Plan 300. This project is being funded by a $300,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development. 
 
During the last several months, City staff and its consultants met with the City Council, spoke with different stakeholders representing businesses and organizations in the Corridor, held a community meeting and conducted an online survey. In addition, City staff and its consultants have researched different types of housing that would work best in the corridor, potential designs to update the look and feel of the public street portion of Highway 111 and current and future economic conditions for the Corridor that would future employment opportunities. 
 
Get involved by attending the next community meeting for the project on Saturday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be virtual and can be accessed here. For more information, please contact Kevin Snyder, Community Development Director at ksnyder@indio.org.
'PRODUCING' A NEW SEASON AT THE IPAC

Showcasing some of the best local talent that the Coachella Valley has to offer is what Desert TheatreWorks (DTW) does best, and they’re ready to get back to work! During their down time, DTW rebuilt, retrofitted and made improvements at the Indio Performing Arts Center in Downtown Indio. 

“We’re so excited to welcome you back and show you what we’ve done to Build Back Better,” said Ron Phillips-Martinez, DTW Chief Executive Officer.

On your return, plan on taking in a show at the new Mainstage Theatre (the former DTW Expo Hall), and check out the new sign out front! Most significantly, going forward Desert TheatreWorks will be expanded to TWO stages for your entertainment pleasure.

Returning to the NEW Mainstage Theatre:

Mel Brooks’ “The Producers”
October 8-31 Showtimes at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm
45175 Fargo St.

Watch for details on the reopening of the DTW Box office and their updated theatre season! 

About Desert Theatreworks: Desert Theatreworks is a 501c3 organized for the benefit of members of the community to provide education, entertainment and exposure to cultural experiences. They have produced more than 50 plays and musicals since finding a home at the Indio Performing Arts Center.
MOVIE NIGHT RETURNS!

Movie nights are back in the City of Indio! Grab a picnic blanket, some comfy lawn chairs, and your friends and family, and join the City of Indio, Desert Recreation District and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for an outdoor movie night!
 
On September 24, make your way to the Indio Community Center Park (45-871 Clinton Avenue) by 7:00 p.m. for a special free screening of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. Some fun activities are also planned for children before the opening credits. Enjoy the show!
INDIO HOUSING UPDATE

The City of Indio recently released the public review draft of its new Housing Element.
 
The Housing Element is a required element of the City’s 20-Year General Plan and is the City’s strategic plan for providing new housing opportunities, while preserving housing for existing residents. California law requires the City of Indio and other California cities update their Housing Element every eight years, and sets the total number of housing units that each region in California must plan for. The Southern California region alone has to plan for over 1.3 million units! The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) identifies and assigns the number of housing units for each local government, and in Indio’s case, that number is 7,812 between 2021 and 2029. 2,963 (or 38 percent) of those housing units must be affordable. More specifically, the City’s new Housing Element must plan for 1,793 affordable housing units for very-low income households (those earning less than 50 percent of the regional average median income) and 1,170 affordable housing units (for those earning between 50 percent and 80 percent of the regional average median income.) 

Following the adoption of the new Housing Element, the City will begin working on the potential adoption of pro-housing policies and strategies. The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will designate local governments as pro-housing if they adopt policies and strategies to accelerate housing production in their communities. Designated pro-housing jurisdictions will be awarded preference in programs such as the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC), Transformative Climate Communities (TCC), Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) programs and other state funding programs that can support new infrastructure and housing.

Public comments on the draft Housing Element are being accepted through September 20. Comments can be submitted by emailing HousingUpdate@indio.org, by emailing Kevin Snyder, Director of Community Development at ksnyder@indio.org, or by mailing comments to City of Indio Housing Element Update, Attn: Kevin Snyder, 100 Civic Center Drive, Indio, CA 9220. This project is being funded by a $310,000 grant from the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). 

The Housing Element update effort will be complete in February 2022. 
DO YOUR PART TO HELP BEAUTIFY OUR CITY

Sustainability is key in a city that prides itself on its beautiful mountain setting, and almost year-round sunshine. 
 
This fall, the City of Indio will hold two sustainability collection events to support our community's efforts to keep Indio a beautiful place to live, raise a family and do business.
 
“We know folks want to do the right thing when they dispose of waste and other materials, but for that to happen, you have to provide some opportunity as well,” said Sara Toyoda, environmental programs coordinator for the City of Indio. “These events allow us to be good partners with the community in waste management, which ultimately supports a vibrant, healthy city.” 
 
The City of Indio's fall sustainability events will take place on September 11 and November 6, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Indio Water Authority/Corporate Yard, located at 83101 Avenue 45. During these events the city will collect:
 
  • Waste tires - All tires must be off the rim. No tires from commercial facilities will be accepted.
  • Used oil and oil filters from residents. This service is provided for do-it-yourselfers. Oil and filters from commercial facilities will not be accepted. 
  • Electronic waste (tv's, computers, computer monitors, cables & wires)
 
On-site paper shredding service will be provided free of charge for Indio residents, with a limit of four boxes.  
 
 A compost exchange will also be held. Those who bring food waste in a container that can be emptied and returned, will receive a free 3-gallon reusable bucket of organic compost and a planting guide. The food waste will be processed into new compost. "The city's compost exchange program is also a good way to get to know what eventually will be law in California in January 2022," added Toyoda. "SB 1383 aims to drastically reduce the methane emitted into our environment when green and other food waste is taken to the landfill."
 
For additional information about the City of Indio's Sustainability, Recycling and Beautification efforts go to www.indio.org/sustainability.
COMMUNITY GRANTS AND SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE

Helping others pay it forward for more than 11 years, the application period for the City of Indio's expanded community grants and sponsorship program is now open. Local nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies are welcome to apply for funding, with a total of $45,000 available. This program is made possible from an approval of the City Council, and runs through June 30, 2022. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2021. Applications can be found here and submitted by email to jcurtis@indio.org.

“The Indio Community Grant/Sponsorship Program gives all nonprofits that serve our City, regardless of size, the opportunity to receive funding for whatever they might need to better our community,” said Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes.

Previous recipients include the JFK Foundation-Ophelia Project, Shadow Hills High School Band Boosters, and the Green Room Theatre Company, among dozens of others. "All of our sessions, trainings for mentors, program supplies and field trips for Indio schools are made possible by the generous City of Indio community grants," said Susan Francis, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation.

Since its inception in 2010, the City has funded more than $350,000 in community grants and sponsorships to over 100 organizations.
MILES AVENUE PIPELINE PROJECT STARTING SOON

Construction for the Miles Avenue water pipeline project is scheduled to start in mid-October 2021 with estimated completion date by February 2022, prior to the upcoming festivals. The project consists of installing 3,700 linear feet of an 18-inch diameter water pipeline along Miles Avenue from Doral Street to Sedona Drive. 
 
Once completed, the project will increase fire pressure and provide additional fire flow capacity in the western part of the City’s water service area. The pipeline will also be used to discharge water for a future well rehabilitation located on Doral Street. This project is part of the Indio Water Authority’s ongoing efforts to maintain its water system to best serve its customers. The contractor and City will collaborate to mitigate traffic impacts during construction. For additional information about this project, check the City of Indio's website.
CHECKING COVID IN WASTEWATER

Indio based Valley Sanitary District recently participated in the largest scale genomic sequencing program of wastewater to determine the presence of COVID-19. This program provided public health agencies with local data to track the spread of the virus. VSD sent wastewater samples to BioBot Analytics, the company selected to partner with the CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services. BioBot then uploaded its samples to the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) and to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Results showed that virus concentrations trended with new COVID-19 cases across the US.

“Wastewater has long been a source of data on public health issues. Many diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis, norovirus, E. coli, and salmonella can be present in wastewater and using macro-level data can be a critical piece of the public health puzzle,” said Beverli Marshall, VSD’s General Manager. “We need to be part of the overall discussion and this program, and its success, demonstrates how much value we provide in identifying issues before they reach an epidemic level. Funding is needed to continue this program beyond the 12-week pilot program to track future spikes and to identify the presence of new variants and other health issues going forward.”
For more information about VSD’s monitoring program, email bmarshall@valley-sanitary.org or call 760-238-5400.
BUDGETING FOR INDIO'S FUTURE

Members of the public wishing to view the City of Indio’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 adopted budget document can now do so on the city’s website. Approved unanimously by the City Council on June 16, 2021, the FY 2021-22 budget establishes $187.5 million in appropriations for the time period spanning July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The adopted budget document contains wide-ranging information about the city’s finances, enhancements compared to prior budget years, and seeks to increase financial accountability and transparency.

Citizens can see more information on Indio’s strategic planning and goals, accomplishments, and an increasingly robust section on financial policies. Enrichments to the budget glossary provide understandability for technical terms and acronyms. “This year we also added a more visually friendly demographics page for those interested in learning about the community,” said Rob Rockwell, Assistant City Manager and Director of Finance.

In the coming months, the city will submit the FY 2021-2022 budget to the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA) and California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) budget awards. For the last two years, GFOA and CSMFO recognized the City of Indio Finance team for their excellence in budget preparation, meeting a comprehensive list of budgetary document requirements, and serving as a volunteer reviewer for another organization’s budget. The city continuously strives to create a budget document that meets and exceeds such award-worthy quality.

Brand new for FY 2021-22, the City of Indio also added a Budget-In-Brief to accompany the full, adopted budget document. The Budget-In-Brief boils down the original 230 page budget document into a high-level overview of the most significant budgetary items in an easy-to-read format. This is where readers can obtain information on the community, strategic planning, and other vital details on Citywide and General Fund budgets.

“Effective municipal budget documents contain more than just numbers; they convey a story about where a city has been and where it intends to go,” added Rockwell. “A well-prepared budget serves as a visionary document, as well as an informational one, and the city believes that the FY 2021-22 adopted budget document realizes both of these objectives. I am proud to recognize Accountant Liberty Urban and our entire Finance Team for their hard work to help achieve this.”

The City of Indio is the largest and fastest growing city in the Coachella Valley with more than 90,000 residents. Nearly 1.4 million people visit Indio every year to attend its world famous arts, food, and music festivals. With nationally recognized public safety services, exceptional schools, great parks and senior and teen centers, no wonder more than 2,700 new housing units are in construction or being planned throughout the city in addition to new hotels, restaurants and retailers. Indio was the first city incorporated in the Coachella Valley on May 16, 1930, and is governed by an elected City Council that employs a City Manager. The City of Indio embraces its diversity and provides outstanding municipal services to enhance the quality of life for its residents, visitors and business community.
City of Indio |100 Civic Center Drive | (760) 391-4000
information@indio.org | www.indio.org