Volume 53 | August 2021
Mayor Pro Tem

From new housing, to new retail, restaurants and office buildings, the city's Community Development department is busier than ever. Driving around the city, as ground gets graded and walls go up, you might be curious about what is opening In(dio) this month:

  • Varner Road & Fifties Way (Fiesta Kia: groundbreaking on July 28)
  • Ave. 42 & Jackson St. (El Pollo Loco: building permits submitted)
  • Ave. 42 & Jackson St. (America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses: plans submitted)
  • Highway 111 & Las Palmas (Dutch Bros. Coffee: grand opening August 2)
  • Indio Marketplace (new design application for exterior renovations)


The City of Indio’s Public Works Department wrapped up several major capital improvement projects early this summer in an effort to further improve safety and mobility of people throughout the city. 
A center two-way left turn lane, on-street parking and striped bike lanes were added to Avenue 44, along with laying new slurry seal between Monroe Street and Palo Verde Street. This project was intended to extend the life of the pavement, reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries, and achieve a new level of safety for drivers and cyclists. In addition, a pedestrian mid-block crossing was added along Avenue 44 at King Street with a new crosswalk, curb ramps and a flashing beacon. The Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funded 90 percent of the construction cost for this project.
Public Works also replaced 21 pedestrian countdown signals throughout Indio. Countdown signals let pedestrians know how many seconds remain to cross the street. Studies have shown that countdown signals reduce the number of stragglers in the street when the signal changes. This project was fully funded by a Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program Grant.
On Indio Boulevard between Jefferson and Madison Streets, SB 1 funds paid for a new striping pattern on freshly paved asphalt. This project also included buffered bike lanes in both directions.
The final, less visible project Public Works completed so far this year involved seismically retrofitting the Jackson Street Bridge over the Coachella Valley Storm Water Channel. The Federal Highway Bridge Program and State Proposition 1B funds paid for 100 percent of the $2,781,977 in construction costs for the project, as a means to replace or rehabilitate public highway bridges over waterways and other topographical barriers, such as the storm channel.
“It is vital to the City’s infrastructure to continually improve the roads and bridges throughout the City,” said Public Works Director Tim Wassil. “Road construction can be an inconvenience, however, the goal of each of these projects is to improve the safety and stability of Indio’s roadways, and these capital improvement projects demonstrate our tax dollars hard at work.”

Bulldozers are moving at the CANOPY at Citrus, a mixed-use shopping and dining plaza, interconnected to the existing Citrus Plaza at Jefferson and north of Avenue 50 in the City of Indio.

CANOPY at Citrus will feature expansive outdoor patios, water features, mature tree canopies and paths throughout to link it to the adjacent shopping center. 30,000 square feet of dinning and retail space is available for lease and should be ready in early 2022. The location will also feature bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging, a fuel station, plus drive through and sit down eateries.

Citrus Plaza has enjoyed full occupancy, and owner Bob Lichter made the decision to embark on the addition of CANOPY at Citrus as a response to growing customer requests for more restaurants with plentiful outdoor dining, ample parking, and atmosphere. With modern architecture and design, the center’s desert-inspired buildings will be crafted with materials like stucco, stone and wood composite paneling. 

In addition, Indio's Planning Commission just approved the design for Citrus Plaza 2, which will complete development of the remaining 3.4 acres of the project. This residential phase of Citrus Plaza 2 includes eight 2-story buildings with 62 units including garage space, a pool, sports court and recreation center.

A tradition began in 2016 in the City of Indio! The only desert city with two public high school football teams, Indio High School and Shadow Hills High School, played their first football game to earn the Mayor's Cup. The cross-town tradition continues in 2021 after a year off due to the pandemic. The Fifth Annual Mayor's Cup will be played on Friday, August 20 at 7:00 pm in the Shadow Hills High School stadium, with the Rajahs fighting to lance the Knights’ four year winning streak. The festivities extend throughout the week, so please join our student athletes and Desert Sands families the week before the big game as the Rajahs and Knights drum up support and excitement for this city-wide event. Opening ceremonies begin at the Wednesday, August 18 Indio City Council meeting, when school principals and team representatives stop by to "kick off" the beginning of the school year and the 2021-2022 high school sports season. Look to social media for more information about the game and celebration.

Students attending Desert Sands Unified School District return to school on Wednesday, August 18. Current California guidelines require that masks be worn inside buildings but can be removed while outdoors. Information on individual school start times can be found at www.dsusd.us. Access each school at the top of the page under “Select a School.” Questions regarding schools can also be directed to each site.

The summer school meal program for all students came to a close on July 28, with approximately 132,000 meals served during the summer months. Throughout the entire 2021-2022 school year, ALL CHILDREN attending DSUSD schools are eligible for free meals. Menus will be posted at https://coolschoolmeals.com/index.php?sid=2008141729006611&page=menus and will include breakfast and lunch.

Big plans are underway at the Indio Marketplace, formerly known as the Indio Fashion Mall. In July, Indio's Planning Commission approved the architectural review of a $40 million renovation and redevelopment project which was featured on NBC Palm Springs, and KESQ.

Los Angeles-based retail developer Haagen Company acquired the Indio Marketplace property in February of 2018 and will begin construction this fall. The 215,000 square foot enclosed mall is situated on 17 acres located near the southeast corner of Highway 111 and Monroe St., in Indio, CA. The Haagen Company's vision is to redevelop and expand the location into a vibrant retail, entertainment and dining destination attractive to both local residents and tourists.

The redevelopment of the mall includes a complete redesign inside and out, with 40 retail spaces and a food hall with 10-12 restaurants, and an additional retail pad on Highway 111. 

“We are very excited about moving forward with the long awaited redesign of the Mall and would like to thank the City Council, Planning Commissioners and City staff for their support and encouragement. We look forward to sharing this exciting new project with the citizens of Indio and the greater Coachella Valley,” said Alexander Haagen III.

Indio Marketplace and its retailers will remain open for business during construction. The Grand Re-opening of Indio Marketplace is expected to take place in late 2022.

Desert TheatreWorks is reopening at the Indio Performing Arts Center with its 2021/2022 Season, pumping life back into the local Performing Arts Community! As the world regains its footing after an arduous year, the theatre is picking up where it left off, premiering with the show that embodies the very spirit of Broadway, Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS. 
“I felt it was important to reopen with The Producers, which had successfully played its Opening Night to rave reviews just before the mandated closures due to the pandemic,” said Lance Phillips-Martinez, Artistic Director. “In my opinion, this production was one of our finest, and our audience deserves to see it!”
Following this production is a lineup of theatre classics that will transport the audience into the magic of live storytelling once more. The 2021/2022 Season has been carefully curated to offer a selection of every genre of theatre. All of the shows are upbeat, fun, and an escape to a happy place again. The Season will feature large-scale musicals, classic plays, and two of the productions will even feature live bands. 
In addition to Desert TheatreWorks’s headline Season, they will be kicking off their popular KidsWorks Program once more, as well as the ArtsWorks Program, a professional branch of their production offerings.

Desert TheatreWorks 2021/2022 Season:
October 8-31, 2021

November 5-21, 2021

December 3-23, 2021

January 7-Febuary 6, 2022

February 11-March 13, 2022

March 18-April 10, 2022

April 22-May 8, 2022

For more information, visit www.dtworks.org or call 760-980-1455. 
The Indio Performing Arts Center is located in historic downtown Indio at 45-175 Fargo Street.

Attention Indio school teachers! The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District wants to give your entire class FREE backpacks filled with school supplies! To enter the drawing, all you have to do is schedule an educational presentation for your class. It's a win-win! CVMVCD will teach your students about mosquitoes with a science-based presentation, and you get the chance to win back-to-school backpacks and supplies for your students! The drawing will be open from August 2 to August 31, 2021. You can schedule a presentation from August 2 until the end of January of next year. To enter, contact Luz Moncada at lmoncada@cvmosquito.org or visit https://www.cvmosquito.org/news-resources/pages/education-and-outreach
¡Atención profesores de escuela en Indio! ¡El Distrito de Control de Mosquitos y Vectores del Valle de Coachella quiere regalarle a toda su clase mochilas GRATIS llenas de materiales escolares! Para entrar en el sorteo, todo lo que tiene que hacer es programar una presentación educativa para su clase. ¡Todos ganamos! ¡CVMVCD enseñará a sus estudiantes sobre mosquitos con una presentación basada en la ciencia, y usted tiene la oportunidad de ganar mochilas y materiales escolares para sus estudiantes! El sorteo estará abierto del 2 al 31 de agosto de 2021. Puede programar una presentación desde el 2 de agosto hasta finales de enero del próximo año. Para entrar, contacte, Luz Moncada por correo electronico, lmoncada@cvmosquito.org o Visite https://www.cvmosquito.org/news-resources/pages/education-and-outreach.


Most recently, Governor Newsom asked residents to voluntarily cut household water use by 15 percent compared to last year, as drought conditions worsen throughout the State. The Governor also expanded his declaration of regional drought state of emergency to 50 California counties. Although Riverside County is currently not on the list under the Governor’s emergency declaration, Indio residents should continue to use water wisely.

“Water is a precious and limited resource. We need to be efficient in how we use water to the extent that we can,” said Indio Water Authority’s General Manager Trish Rhay. “Not only are we encouraging the community to continue conserving, but IWA is also doing its part with long-term planning to provide water supply reliability to our customers.”

The City of Indio is a member of CV Water Counts, a non-profit group focused on water conservation through awareness and education. Membership is comprised of the six water agencies in the valley. Most recently, CV Water Counts highlighted the valley having saved 60 billion gallons of water from June 2015 to present. This is the equivalent to 90,850 Olympic-sized swimming pools! This water is still stored in the underground aquifer for future use, and the community is encouraged to continue its efforts.

At the regional level, the City of Indio, in collaboration with other water agencies in the valley, recently completed its 2020 Coachella Valley Regional Urban Water Management Plan. The State requires water suppliers to adopt and update the plan every five years. The plan covers the following topics:

• Forecast of water demands and available water supplies for the next 20 years
• Assessment of water supply reliability during drought
• Outlines programs and strategies to encourage water use efficiency
• Actions that water agencies could take to reduce demands in times of constrained supply

For more information about the City’s long term planning for water supply and conservation programs, visit the Indio Water Authority’s website at www.indiowater.org. You can also visit www.cvwatercounts.com to learn more about regional conservation efforts and tips.

There's no better place than the Coachella Valley History Museum to make unforgettable memories happen. Book your next gathering, celebration, or wedding at one of CVHM’s beautiful venues in downtown Indio on Miles Avenue. 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, please contact Donna Rose at 760.342.5878 or events@cvhm.org. More information about event space rental is also available at https://www.cvhm.org/events.html.

Connect with Coachella Valley History Museum:
On Instagram: @cv_history_museum

Founded in October 2003, Stitches for Kids binds a love of creative sewing with the purpose of providing comfort to children in crisis situations in the Coachella Valley. The women were recently featured on KESQ as Neighborhood Heroes as they dropped off several dozen cuddle quilts to Olive Crest, in Palm Desert.

The group gathers every Tuesday at the Indio Senior Center to talk, share designs, and learn quilting skills. 

"It's a social group, and it gives us purpose for sewing," said member Beth Irish. "Because we're making the quilts for children in need of comfort. So we get the comfort, and we're sharing the comfort, sharing the love."

"Despite the pandemic closure of the ISC, we made about 300 quilts so far this year," said co-founder Patricia Paige. "About 70 have gone to the New Life Program at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, and the rest to foster children served by Olive Crest. We met monthly in the ISC parking lot to collect finished quilts and distribute fabric and batting."

The quilters recognized even more crisis situations caused by the pandemic would mean more children needing quilts. "Sewing also gave us a productive outlet at home through the isolation of the shut-down," added Paige. Both of the organizations benefitting from Stiches for Kids provide counseling for families in crisis to help them move forward to a better life.

"Anyone eligible for membership at the ISC can come," said Paige. "Beginners are welcome, but some sewing experience and ownership of a sewing machine are helpful." Donations of sewing supplies are gratefully received at the ISC, including fabric, thread and quilt batting. 

The Indio Senior Center is located at 45-700 Aladdin Street. Membership is available to all those older than 50, regardless of residency.

What will your tomorrow bring? How about an Associate Degree or a new skill from College of the Desert?

Registration is now open for in-person and online Fall classes, and financial assistance and grants are available to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, laptop rentals, living expenses and more.
The College wants to help residents of the Coachella Valley achieve their dreams of a higher education. Fall classes are offered both day and night, in a variety of disciplines.

With flexible course offerings and campuses where you live and work, including in downtown Indio, you can follow your career pathway to becoming an architect, a graphic designer, mechanic, emergency responder or more. The choices are limitless.

“College of the Desert cares about the future of the Coachella Valley and we are committed to providing students with resources to help them succeed,” said Public Information Officer Marion Champion.

For details and enrollment/registration information, visit www.collegeofthedesert.edu. Or contact the College directly at 760.346.8041 or join@collegeofthedesert.edu, and let one of our enrollment specialists help you discover the endless possibilities. 

Welcome Indio features some of the new faces you might see around City Hall. 

Vanessa Salcedo joined the City of Indio in June 2022. She was born and raised in Indio, graduating from Indio High School, where she was a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA) all four years.

"I enjoyed taking care of my piggies," shared Salcedo, "showing them off at the National Date Festival." 

Salcedo enjoys spicy food and cooking, and has a big sweet tooth. She loves to work out, and during COVID, make her own little home gym.

Visit Vanessa at the Indio Senior Center, where she works as an office assistant.

Indio residents are rolling up their sleeves to regain the title in Lifestream Blood Bank’s 9th Annual Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge. This yearly event runs through August 31, 2021 and supports patients in need, as well as a friendly rivalry between Coachella Valley cities.

The 9th annual challenge comes at a time of dangerously low community blood supplies nationwide. Let’s step up and help our own, and get back into the winner’s circle! Indio residents generously gave the most blood donations of any of the “Nine Cities” each year from 2015 to 2018.

“As the valley’s largest city, and the home of so many regional services, we must demonstrate we are also the leaders in our community’s well-being,” said Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes, who gave at the City's official drive at the Indio Teen Center on July 29. “Please come out and donate for our local hospital patients, and of course, Team Indio!”

Donors get a commemorative t-shirt, a $10 Stater Bros gift card, and a special beach towel. More importantly, they receive the satisfaction of knowing they gave the gifts of life and comfort to loved ones, friends, neighbors and colleagues, including those being treated at JFK Hospital in Indio.

Donations at any Indio drive (see www.lstream.org/9cities/ for a complete drive list) or at LifeStream’s La Quinta Donor Center located at 79-215 Corporate Centre Drive. The center is open seven days per week and walk-ins are accepted. When you donate at the center, just say, “I’m donating for Indio!” and you’ll get the limited edition t-shirt.

Donors must be at least 15 years of age (15 and 16-year-olds require a signed parental consent form; the form is available at all drives), weigh at least 115 pounds, provide photo ID, and feel well. Whether or not you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you can give blood.

Call 1-800-879-4484 TODAY to make your life-saving appointment!
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