Volume 49 | December 18 - 22, 2017
New Library Branch Opens at Moreno Valley Mall
The City's newest Library Branch is now open at the Moreno Valley Mall. A Grand Opening celebration was led by the Moreno Valley City Council on December 21st. The opening of the new Library fulfills a major City Council priority identified in their “ Momentum MoVal ” strategic plan.

Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez hosted a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate this momentous occasion - - the first new Library to open in the City’s 33 year history.

"This new Library branch is the result of community input and commitment by the City Council. And because it was a top priority, it was completed in record time. We know that libraries are important cornerstones of a healthy community," said Mayor Gutierrez.

The large crowd applauded loudly as the City Council cut the ceremonial ribbon. Mayor Gutierrez then opened the doors to the new Library and welcomed the community to enjoy the many amenities. The fun-filled day also included free raffles, face painting, balloon art, anime drawing classes, a Magician, and local author book readings.
The new Library branch is located in the Mall on the second floor, across from Sears and next to HomeTown Buffet. It is open Monday through Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more information about the Moreno Valley Public Library System, please visit  www.moval.org/library or contact the Library at 951.413.3880.
Moreno Valley Fire Department Brings Christmas Joy to Local Children
To spread holiday cheer to children throughout our community, Moreno Valley Firefighters, in cooperation with CAL FIRE, Riverside County Fire, and ABC Channel 7, hosted the "Spark of Love Toy Drive." 

On Saturday, December 16th, Moreno Valley Firefighters presented toys to families and helped bring joy to children this holiday season.

Donations to the "Spark of Love Toy Drive" were accepted at the City's seven fire stations. All donations collected for the program went directly to Moreno Valley families. In 2016, Moreno Valley Firefighters were able to provide toys to 376 families and more than 550 children. This year's collection efforts aided even more families than previous events. 

With the support of the community and Spark of Love Toy Drive partners, children throughout the community received a new toy this holiday season. This distribution event brought the Moreno Valley residents together to embrace the season and exhibited our Firefighters’ care for the community. Moreno Valley firefighters were honored to assist in the distribution of 7,000 toys through this compassionate program.
Moreno Valley Welcomes New City Manager
The City of Moreno Valley welcomes Tom DeSantis as the new City Manager. DeSantis, 55, joined Team MoVal in 2011, serving as Human Resources Director and Administrative Services Director before being appointed as Assistant City Manager in 2013.  

“It is with great pride that we appoint Tom DeSantis as our City Manager,” said Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez. “Tom has provided exemplary service to the City of Moreno Valley for the last six years. He is a dedicated member of our team and brings a wealth of experience to the position,” remarked Mayor Gutierrez.

DeSantis’ 27-year local government career began at the County of Riverside, where he served as a Public Information Officer and Deputy County Executive Officer over a ten-year period. He then joined the County of San Bernardino as a Deputy Administrative Officer focusing on criminal justice and health programs, before serving as Chief of Staff to the 4th District County Supervisor. Prior to joining Moreno Valley, he served as an Assistant City Manager for the City of Riverside.

“It’s an honor to have been selected to serve the City Council, Moreno Valley residents and my colleagues throughout the City organization,” said DeSantis. “I’m eager to continue working with Team MoVal to reach new heights in delivering first-rate service to our community.”

He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army’s Moreno Valley Corps. His previous community activities have included service as a President and member of the Hemet Unified School District’s Governing Board. Prior to entering local government, he served on active duty in the U.S. and overseas as a Captain in the United States Air Force. He earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude from The American University in Washington D.C.
City Offers Energy Saving Ideas to Lower Customer Costs
The City wants to help residents keep their energy bills affordable during the winter months.  Low temperatures across Moreno Valley could put a strain on local energy supplies. During cold weather, people typically use three to seven times more electricity and natural gas for heating purposes, which can result in higher bills.

There are many simple steps residents can take to reduce their energy consumption during cold weather. The Moreno Valley Utility and Southern California Gas Co. have shared the following tips to encourages our community members to keep their energy bills affordable:
  • Bundle up with warm accessories.
  • Only heat the rooms you use.
  • Install ENERGY STAR doors and windows.
  • Use a programmable thermostat.
  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home and 55 degrees when you are away.
  • Lowering your thermostat three to five degrees can save up to 10% on heating costs.
  • Installing proper caulking and weather-stripping can save roughly 10 to 15% on heating and cooling costs.
  • Unplug electronics when you are away. Unplug kitchen appliances, DVDs, TVs, and computers while not in use to save energy and money.
  • Use a power strip to conveniently turn off all appliances with the flip of the power strip switch.
  • Adjust the blinds and curtains. Close your curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts and open them during the day to let in warming sunlight.
  • Use light-emitting diode (LED) holiday light strings to reduce electricity costs.
  • Get an energy audit. MVU customers can visit www.moval.org/mvutility, and Southern California Edison customers may visit www.sce.com for more information.
  • Wash clothes in cold water to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Test your air ducts for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost between 10 to 30% in heating and cooling costs.
  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
  • Take shorter showers to reduce your natural gas use.
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Hot water leaks cause increased demand on water heaters, which increases natural gas use. One drop of water per second can waste 500 gallons of hot water per year.
  • Limit use of non-essential natural gas appliances, such as spas and fireplaces.
In addition, SoCalGas offers rebates on hundreds of home products that help save energy. Among the most popular are smart thermostats that can learn your schedule and temperature preferences and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly. SoCalGas customers can find rebates on qualifying energy-efficient appliances or home upgrades by going to www.socalgas.com/save-money-and-energy. They also allow users to adjust home temperatures with a mobile app or computer and can even use local weather conditions to help control energy costs. 

Rebates on energy-efficient appliances are also available. Residents can save $50 on select smart thermostats and Energy Star natural gas dryers, at least $100 on select water heaters and up to $200 on select central gas furnaces. Residents can also save money on clothes washers and low-flow shower-heads, including those with thermostatic shut-off valves that temporarily cut water flow once the water has become hot.

The Moreno Valley Utility wishes everyone warm Holiday wishes and a happy New Year!
City Reminds Residents of Fir Avenue Closure (West of Nason Street)
Fir Avenue is currently closed between Nason Street and Tulip Road to allow for road construction related to a new housing development. During construction, Fir Avenue at Morrison Street will be accessible by residents only. 

The project includes raising Fir Avenue by ten feet, repaving the street, and installing curbs, gutters, storm drains, sidewalks and street lights.

Fir Avenue is expected to reopen by January 13, 2018. In the meantime, a detour route directs drivers to use Nason Street, Eucalyptus Avenue, and Morrison Street.
The City appreciates your patience during this temporary improvement process. Please contact the Land Development Division at 951.413.3120 with any questions.
Upon request, this news release will be made available in appropriate alternative formats to persons with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any person with a disability who requires a modification or accommodation in order to participate in this meeting should direct such requests to Guy Pegan, ADA Coordinator, at 951.413.3120 at least 72 hours before the meeting. The 72-hour notification will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting.