May 13, 2021
Dear friends & neighbors:

This is my first monthly Mayor's Message since becoming Mayor once again on April 15. I am honored to represent you and our magnificent city.  

Your City Council and City staff are here not only to provide high-quality customer service but excellent customer support, which is our promise that the Rancho Mirage brand will maintain that high standard our residents, businesses, and visitor are accustomed to and deserve.

On that note, let's see what the City has been doing to maintain and preserve our beautiful community. In this month's message, I provide updates about a new development in our city, how your tax dollars are being spent, and other pertinent information.
Betty Ford Center Expansion & Renovation
On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, I was proud to represent our City Council at the ground breaking ceremony for the $30M expansion and renovation for the world-renowned Betty Ford Center, specializing in treatment programs for addiction to alcohol and other drugs. This marks the most significant expansion since the Center opened in 1982.

Established by former First Lady and outspoken addiction recovery advocate Betty Ford, the iconic rehab center sits on a private, 20-acre campus, adjacent to Eisenhower Medical Center.
Pictured above: Mayor Ted Weill with Susan Ford Bales
Daughter of President Gerald Ford & Betty Ford
Construction phases over a four-year period will include:
Phase 1:
  • Construction of a one-story, 22,748 sq.ft. pavilion, including offices, group treatment rooms, an auditorium for lectures, education, and training
  • Landscaping
  • Parking spaces
  • A new entrance to the campus

Phase 2, planned to begin in 2023:
  • Removal of two of the existing residential buildings
  • Construction of a two-story, 20,935 sq.ft. residential pavilion with 46 beds

Phase 3, planned for 2024:
  • Construction of a second residential treatment pavilion replacing the other two existing residential buildings.
The City's Public Works Department consists of three divisions:
  • Engineering
  • Street Maintenance
  • Facilities & Fleet Maintenance

As you can see by the projects listed below, the City's Public Works Department has been extremely busy ensuring a high-quality of life for our residents and remain committed to serving the public with the highest level of customer service.
Wolfson Park Expansion
The property adjacent to Wolfson Park was demolished in December and the site is currently vacant.
The expansion includes:
  • Connecting the existing park to Butler-Abrams Trail
  • A new parking lot
  • Two electric vehicle charging stations
  • Addition of ramps and sidewalks
  • Braille signage enhancements for the visually impaired.

The conceptual design has been submitted and City Council will be asked to review before project plans and specifications are prepared. A Request for Proposals will be issued in mid-summer.
Fire Station 50 Seismic & Building Improvements
This project will include:
  • New heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Seismic improvements
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades
  • A new roof
  • A new gym
These improvements will allow the facility to remain in full operation in the event of a major earthquake. The HVAC upgrades are an improvement to the apparatus bay to allow the crew safer and cooler access during the hot summer months.
SB-821 Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Program Grants
The City of Rancho Mirage has received preliminary approval for two grants of $432,500 each ($865,000 total) through the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s (RCTC) SB-821/TDA Article 3 Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Program.

The grants will help to fund the following projects:

  • ADA Access Ramp Retrofit on Bob Hope Drive: This includes upgrades of 48 pedestrian access ramps along Bob Hope Drive, from Highway 111 to Ramon Road, to meet ADA requirements. 

  • San Jacinto Drive Corridor Pedestrian & Bicycle Connectivity Improvements: This includes the installation of lighted bollards along San Jacinto Drive, from Rancho Mirage Community Park to Rancho Las Palmas Drive, to create a safe walking and biking path. Proposed work also includes the completion of missing gaps of sidewalk, retrofit of seven access ramps to meet ADA requirements, and new signage and striping.

It is anticipated that these projects will be formally recommended for RCTC grant approval and award on June 9.
Facilities Maintenance Projects
The following projects have been recently completed by our Public Works Facilities Maintenance Division:
  • Library: 8-Inch Can Light LED Upgrade
  • Observatory Wood Refresh
  • Dog Park Rock and Bench Relocation
  • Council Chambers Entrance Concrete Repair
  • Council Chambers Dais Repair/Painting





These projects are currently ongoing or upcoming in the near future:
  • Butler-Abrams Trail Fence Removal/Installation
  • Fire Station 50 Seismic & Building Improvements
  • Fence Installation (Vacant Lot Adjacent to Fire Station 50)
  • Fire Station 69 Laundry System
  • Rancho Mirage Community Park Tennis Court Wind Screen Replacement
  • City Hall LED Lighting Installation
  • City Hall Ceiling Tile Replacement
  • Library Water Fountain
  • Library Copper Cleaning/Waxing
The City's Building & Safety division oversees all phases of building construction, both commercial and residential and performs all necessary inspections.
Our Building division has been extremely busy this year. Although the pandemic caused some slow down in 2020, as you can see, 2021 numbers are significantly higher than last year. Looks like construction in Rancho Mirage is booming.
2021

April:
239 permits issued
28 SFD* permits issued

01/01/21 - 4/30/21:
882 permits issued with valuation of $61,333,450

127 SFD permits issued with valuation of $40,688,311

2020

April:
106 permits issued
8 SFD* permits issued

01/01/20 - 4/30/20:
460 Permits issued with valuation of $29,829,534

59 SFD permits issued with valuation of $17,517,534
*SFD: Single Family Dwelling
Live Cabaret at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater
It's been a while but things are ramping up at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater. Desert Theatricals, in partnership with the City, is hosting a Live Cabaret Series Dinner Theatre every Saturday through June 5th!

With social distancing seating, dinner, wine and dessert provided by Aqua California Bistro, and complimentary valet service, this series is the perfect way to celebrate our reopening.
Although the May 15th, 22nd & June 5th shows are sold out, there are still tickets left for the May 29th show, Scott Dreier in Doris & Me, a one man show celebrating the music and career of the legendary Doris Day!

May 15th
An Evening with
Valerie Perri
May 22nd
The Mod Squad

June 5th
An Evening with Jonathan Karrant & Joshua White
If you would like to be placed on a waiting list for any of the sold out shows,
please contact Desert Theatricals at (760) 259-0288 or
Sunset Guided Meditation in the Park
What we all need right now is a moment to rest our minds and bodies and what better way than an evening of meditation under the beautiful Rancho Mirage sky!
Every Wednesday beginning May 12th through June 2nd, Satisfied Being Meditation & Mindfulness & The City of Rancho Mirage presents Complimentary Outdoor Guided Meditation Series
at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater

This event is free to the public but registration is required.
 
Registration is full for the May 12 event but there are a few open slots for the May 19, 26,
and June 2.
Summer Reading Club
Rancho Mirage Chamber & "The Comeback"
On May 26th from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., I will be presenting with our friends at the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce at The Comeback: Annual Chamber Meeting & City Update.

I hope you tune in and join the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce staff and Board for a virtual annual meeting of the membership, Board Installation and a city update will be given by yours truly. Topics will include Economic Development, Recovery Efforts, Programs, Education and Networking, Special Events, and Board Installation.
Social Security Scams
Have you received a phone call from the "Social Security Administration" threatening you or stating that your benefits have been "suspended"? Well, I have and what do I do when that happens? I hang up the phone and report the scam at oig.ssa.gov!

The actual Social Security Administration (SSA) has provided information to help protect us from scams like this. Take a look at the SSA's flyer below or visit ssa.gov/antifraudfacts to read more.
Thank you for your time. Please share your ideas, suggestions, or comments by emailing me at Tedw@RanchoMirageCA.gov. I see many of you regularly during the week but I always look forward to receiving your comments. Do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

My very best wishes,
Mayor Ted Weill