Volume 22 | January 2019
Mayor Pro Tem
Welcome to 2019 in Indio. All of us at City Hall wish you a Happy New Year. We are looking forward, in fact to a great year.
So what can you expect in your City in 2019? Just to list a few:
—At long last the reconstruction of Highway 111 is essentially complete. We have some minor elements left to to do, but the traffic delays will soon be a thing of the past. When the County completes the new Detention Facility, we can move on to upgrade the section of Hwy 111 from Rubidoux to the east.
—Our repaving of local streets continues at a very aggressive pace, thanks largely to our voter approved Measure X funding.
—We will be moving forward with design for 3 important, long overdue Public Safety projects — a Police Headquarters Station, a renovated or brand new Fire HQ Station, and much needed Computer-Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems. These are also Measure X projects. These substantial upgrades will make the public and our emergency responders safer, will let us be much more efficient, will help us avoid unnecessary litigation, and will help us hire and retain key staff. 
— We can expect continued great public education leadership from the Desert Sands and Coachella Valley School Districts and from the College of the Desert. COD’s Indio campus is a big success, so they will be constructing a second classroom building in Downtown Indio. 
—The Desert Recreation District is finalizing plans to redevelop Pawley Pool and the adjacent park. Stay tuned, as this is an exciting project! 
—As covered in previous newsletters, we will be asking the City Council to adopt a new Indio General Plan and Downtown Specific Plan. Without repeating what I have said in other recent newsletters, suffice it to say these represent major policy documents that serve as roadmaps for future community development initiatives. These Plans take a 20 year focus. The public hearings on these two documents will occur in the first half of 2019.
—We continue to be blessed by investor interest in Indio real estate — residential, retail, restaurant, hospitality, industrial, medical and civic/community development. We have two new hotels, a 12-screen Maya Cinema, El Super grocery store and several retail businesses opening this year. We appreciate those who recognize that Indio is an emerging market with a very deserving citizenry.

—The City of Festivals continues to attract top caliber events which support Indio financially and our reputation. The on-going support of our neighborhoods is key to that success. We remain committed to those partnerships.
—We have noteworthy opportunities and upgrades occurring at established retail centers including The Palms, Regency Centers and the new Indio Grand Marketpalce (formerly Indio Fashion Mall.) 
—And finally, I want to remind you that we have just converted to district Council elections. Our newly seated Council will be addressing a very busy City agenda. Those of us on staff are looking forward to working with Mayor Lupe Ramos Amith, Mayor Pro Tem Glenn Miller, continuing Councilmember Elaine Holmes and new Councilmembers Waymond Fermon and Oscar Ortiz. Councilmembers are elected by District, but each of them represents the entire City. 
We hope you will be mindful of your City government this next year. We need to hear from our public. Send me an email. I write my own columns and I respond personally to my emails. 
Mark Scott
City Manager
Fairfield Inn & Suites Grand Opening

On December 17, 2018, the new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott opened at 42655 Marmara Street in north Indio and can be seen from the I-10 freeway west of Jackson Street. The four story, 60,000 sq. ft. hotel has 110 rooms, pool, gym, lounge, breakfast area, snack shop, and beer and wine bar. The official grand opening will take place in February 2019. Fairfield is one of two new hotels opening in Indio - the other is the 93-room Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, which broke ground in October 2019 on Spectrum Street. There will be a total of 22 hotels and 1,534 rooms in Indio once the Hampton is completed. The city generates between $4 to $5 million per year in Transient Occupancy Tax or "bed tax" from hotels, short-term rentals and festival campers. There continues to be a demand for both budget and luxury hotels in Indio as the city attracts nearly 1.4 million visitors annually. Trivago recently ranked Indio as the No. 2 Top Emerging Travel Destination in America. For more information or to book a reservation at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Indio, go to  www.fairfieldindio.com  
Coachella Valley History Museum Jr. Historian Program

Enrollment is now open for the Coachella Valley History Museum's fun-filed Junior Historians After School Program from January 28 to March 13, 2019, Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The program is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who will learn about the exciting history of the Coachella Valley, enjoy old-fashioned games, and experience hands-on activities. Registration is $50 and scholarships are available. The program is held at the Coachella Valley History Museum at 82616 Miles Avenue in Indio. Register at www.cvhm.org or contact Pamela Golden at  pamgolden@aol.com or 760 902-2448.  
Indio Police Department Recognized for Innovative Strategies

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recognized the Indio Police Department as a model for cutting edge and innovative strategies to involve residents and assist youth and vulnerable populations. IPD created the Chief's Advisory Board to engage with local residents, and founded the Truancy Prevention Task Force to help parents and youth reduce school absences. IPD's outreach to homeless individuals and creation of the Community Outreach Resource Program has placed individuals on the right track to a better life. Click on the video and publication links below to learn more about IPD's internationally-recognized modern policing practices. 


70th Anniversary of Indio Rotary Club 

On January 15, 2019, the Rotary Club of Indio will celebrate its 70th Anniversary. Founded in 1949, it is the third oldest club in the Coachella Valley and is focused on doing good in Indio, the Coachella Valley, and the world. The Club’s signature project is the Coachella Valley Middle School Math Field Day, which will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in May. The Club also provides dictionaries to Indio 3rd graders, provides transportation for tours of the Coachella Valley History Museum, sponsors an Interact Club at Shadow Hills High School, and provides college scholarships for graduating high school seniors. “Education and youth is one of our pillars and something that the Indio Rotary is very proud of,” said Elizabeth Tucker, current Club President. The club also partners with local non-profits and supports a variety of international projects. The Club will celebrate its anniversary on Tuesday, January 15th at noon in the Special Events Center at Fantasy Springs. For more information, contact IndioRotary@gmail.com or follow them on Facebook/IndioRotary.
Indio Water Authority Awarded EPA Grant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $187.3 million to California for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements and the Indio Water Authority has been named to receive some of the grant funding for drinking water infrastructure improvements to public water systems. IWA will consolidate two small local water systems serving disadvantaged communities into IWA to provide a reliable supply of water that meets drinking water standards.

“These funds will be used for 183 local projects that will boost the economy while improving water systems,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “EPA is committed to investing in local infrastructure that will benefit the communities we serve.”

For more information on EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs, please visit:
College of the Desert Family Night Provides Direction to Hundreds of Students

The College of the Desert’s Family Night on December 6, 2018 was a huge success drawing more than six hundred families and youth from across the Coachella Valley. Besides learning how to apply for admission to College of the Desert, attendees learned about various programs and services that are available to help make the transition from high school to college more successful. Additionally, attendees learned about how to apply for financial aid and the state resources available for undocumented students and families who are also interested to become college educated. Breakout sessions explaining the processes to enroll, apply, obtain financial aid, and choose an academic program were held in both English and Spanish throughout the campus. Furthermore, participants interacted directly with academic and support programs faculty and staff in the gymnasium. For more information, go to  www.collegeofthedesert.edu .
Desert Theatreworks’ KidsWorks Announces Spring Musical Theatre Workshop 

Desert Theatreworks’ KidsWorks Spring Musical Theatre Workshop is a performance-based education program for children aged 7-19 years. The Theatre Workshop teaches acting, singing and dancing for the stage, culminating in public performances of the musical Hairspray Jr. at the Indio Performing Arts Center March 24th and 25th. The six-week workshop begins January 12, 2019 and runs every other weekend (Saturday and Sunday 1pm-5pm). Acceptance is based on a first-come basis. Tuition is $300.

Kidsworks offers opportunities for students of the East Valley to participate in the arts at an affordable price. Students will be nurtured to achieve their personal best and it is a safe and nurturing environment where community is emphasized, friendship valued, and personal growth celebrated. Kidsworks instructors evaluate their participation, personal growth, and performance in their final production.

For more information or to register, please visit www.kidsworks.org .
12th Annual Sand Storm
Lacrosse Festival

Synapse Sports is thrilled to host the 12th Annual Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival January 19-20, 2019 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. 350+ boys’ and girls’ teams – comprised of middle and high school players – are slated to compete on 55 fields in the 2019 event sponsored by Gatorade. “We knew when we started Sand Storm in 2008 that it had tremendous potential. A warm weather location, state-of-the-art facility, top-notch competition and detailed organization are the ingredients for success,” said Cathy Samaras, found and CEO of Synapse Sports. “Sand Storm lived up to its potential and exceeded expectations since the beginning. Now it has become a destination event for club teams throughout the country as the premier winter tournament.”

For more information, visit sandstormlacrosse.com .
Southwest Arts Festival 2019 at Empire Polo Club

The Southwest Arts Festival Indio 2019 will be held on January 24, 25, 26 and 27, 2019. Now in its 33rd year, The Southwest Arts Festival will once again be held at the Empire Polo Club. Every year the Arts Festival continues to evolve and attract a high caliber of talented artists and unique artwork. This year’s festival will feature interactive art displays and live music, with pottery, glass and fine art painting scheduled to be on display. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of dining and beverage options while casually walking the grounds.

This year the festival will be accepting 250 of the most accomplished artists from around the world to show. As one of the largest annual fundraisers supporting several Coachella Valley based nonprofits, the festival is exceptionally fortunate to have over 200 community leaders and volunteers who contribute numerous hours to make certain that the festival is successful. The festival is open daily from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. For additional information on The Southwest Arts Festival Indio, visit SWArtFest.com , or call 760-347-0676.
Indio Compost Exchange

The Compost Exchange is an event where anyone can bring in food waste and exchange it for organic compost. Compost is made from the natural process where organic matter, such as food waste, is broken down into a nutrient rich soil. Compost can be mixed with existing soil to replenish nutrients that support healthy plants. The organic compost from the event can be used in a garden or for indoor plants. 
For the event, bring in any food you know you will not eat. It can be vegetables that are too old to cook or leftovers that have been left over for too long.  The food waste will be put in the collection bin at the event and later taken to the compost facility to be processed into new compost. 
Residents will receive a 3.5 gallon reuseable bucket of compost and a planting guide for the Coachella Valley.
If your new year includes any healthy resolutions, then bring some foodwaste to this event and exchange it for compost. Gardening promotes healthy eating and exercise. Even if you just plant a few indoor herbs, food seasoned with organic fresh herbs is a healthy way to support any diet. 
This event will be held on February 9th, 2019 from 9 am to noon at the Home Depot parking lot at 42100 Jackson Street in Indio. If you have any questions about the event please contact stoyoda@indio.org .
Subscribe to The City Of Indio's Instagram

The City of Indio's Instagram page now has a fresh look with amazing images of the unique art, food, entertainment, architecture and landscape in our community. Sometimes it's important to take a moment to see and enjoy the beauty all around us. It is a constant reminder why we've decided to stay or move to Indio and the desert - there's no other place like it! Subscribe to our Instagram page @CityofIndio, use #indio and #cityoffestivals, and let us know if you like what you see. More incredible photos are coming! Follow us on Instagram @CityofIndio
Have You Seen Indio's New Legacy Video? 

Indio's new Legacy Video shares the authentic and heartfelt stories of our residents and families who have shaped and are shaping the future of the community. Through the eyes of our youth who are navigating life in today's world and families who have been here for generations, we witness Indio's greatest strength - our people. Ashley Gonzalez is an Indio High School student who finds support from the community to become the best version of herself. Jorge Andrade shares his experience growing up in Indio and the success he achieved to become a high school valedictorian and UC Berkeley graduate. Albert Keck is a multi-generational date farmer with deep roots in the community who shows how far Indio has grown. Finally, Rosa Flores shares the story of her family restaurant business that is now being passed down to the next generation. These stories are but a glimpse of what makes Indio great and it reminds us that as our city grows, it is love, kindness, generosity and family that binds us together as a small and tight-knit community. We are Indio! Watch Indio's Legacy video here !
The City of Indio is the 30th Fastest Growing City in America with more than with more than 89,000 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 3,000 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