Volume 36 | March 2020
Mayor Pro Tem
Dear Indio Neighbors,
I feel like I should begin this newsletter column with an update on the worldwide response to the Coronavirus outbreak and how it affects a local government like ours. I believe, however, that by the time this newsletter is transmitted, the information I would give will already be outdated. Research and emergency response professionals worldwide are obviously working around the clock to develop strategies and updates are readily available from the Riverside County Public Health Department and others. 
I do want to assure the public that within our region, there is very close, daily coordination among Emergency Management, Public Health and Public Information specialists. While the Coronavirus is a relatively new medical challenge, the health organizations that address infectious disease outbreaks are not new to the task. There are very well-established protocols that these highly capable professionals follow in organizing the response. There is very close coordination among local, county, regional, state and federal officials. They receive input from such entities as the CDC, FDA, WHO and medical research entities worldwide. We, and other Coachella Valley cities, get asked about large special events planned this time of year in the Desert. Absolutely we take these issues seriously. But the upcoming music festivals are still five full weeks in the future. These professionals will provide guidance and advice about such events as the research continues and as the calendar requires. Much, much more information will be reported as this situation evolves. We can all help by doing our best to follow the advice of public health officials concerning our personal sanitary practices.
So given that I would like to talk about something other than medical scares and election news, I think I will resort to some one-liners:
  •  How about that boy’s basketball team at Shadow Hills High School? A remarkable season and a CIF title! Our schools produce excellence in so many ways. They are truly one of biggest strengths as a region.
  • The City Council on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 adopted an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with a group called PSDG Indio, LLC, for possible development of projects in the core of our Downtown (basically the City-owned property on the City Hall block and the lawn area to the west). We have been working toward this possible development for the last couple years, and it is still dependent on a more detailed determination of economic feasibility. However, I think two things are clear. There is growing interest in investment in our Downtown, and the City has made this possible by assembling land and preparing plans necessary to attract that investment. More to report on this in the next few months, and more details on our website. Specifically, we are hoping to attract mixed use urban style multi-story apartments, with ground-floor commercial activity, food and entertainment businesses, and hotel/conference center development. It is a big lift, but the PSDG Indio group has very experienced development investors who are seriously exploring the potential. 
  • And there is much more potential in our Downtown, as I have said in previous columns. The College of the Desert Indio campus has enrollment of 6,000 this Spring, and they will break ground on two more buildings by this time next year. We look forward to having 10,000 COD students coming and going from Downtown within a few years. And the Larson Justice Center projects will hopefully be completed soon, bringing hundreds of new jobs to our Downtown. 

  • As reported previously, the City has entered into an ENA with David Schuman to develop mixed use apartments on City-owned land on Oasis. Mr. Schuman is making great progress in his planning. We look forward to signing a formal Development Agreement with him before long. He has a very exciting concept.

Mark Scott, City Manager
Indio's Stellar Scholar Athletes

The “Knightmare” continued this month for opponents of the Shadow Hills High School Varsity boys basketball team, which crushed the competition this season, advancing to the CIF Southern Section State Championships. The Knights of SHHS, seen here with their "winning" signs out, lanced the Knights of Price High School in Los Angeles. "We’re grateful that we have a great bunch of players and coaches that love the game of basketball," said Principal Gabriel Fajardo. "This has proven to be an example for our school community providing valuable lessons and skills for practical situations – like teamwork, fair play, and hard work." SHHS Girls Soccer and Boys and Girls Wrestling also advanced well into the tournament, making it to the semi-finals before ending their season. We are proud of our local high school sports teams, and thank the family, volunteers, and staff who support these scholar athletes all year long.
New Housing Coming to Indio

Two new phases of construction are beginning at existing housing developments in Indio. Trenching will start this month for nearly two dozen new homes in the third phase of Gallery Links, within the Indian Palms Country Club. The homes will range from about 1,800 to 2,000 square feet. In the Shadow Ranch community, between Avenue 38 and Avenue 42, DR Horton is currently constructing model homes for its last phase of development. Eventually 81 one and two-story homes will be built.
Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking

An exciting day for Habitat for Humanity and the City on February 27, 2020 when they broke ground on two more new single family homes in Indio. The homes located on Towne and Arabia Streets will each be approximately 1,500 square feet, with four bedrooms, a den and two bathrooms. City of Indio Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 Funds will primarily pay for the project, with the remaining funds provided by Habitat for Humanity. When the homes are completed, they will be sold to two income qualifying families. 
Checking in with our City of Indio Firefighters

The outreach efforts of our Indio Firefighters, staffed by CAL FIRE/Riverside Co. extend far beyond medical calls, kitchen fires and brush fires. Last week, several students from Richard Oliphant Elementary School had the opportunity to visit and tour Fire Station 87 on Golf Center Parkway. The students learned the importance of fire safety and had the opportunity to climb around the inside of a fire engine. The most frequently asked questions from the students were "Where is the dalmatian?" and "Where is the pole?"

As an opportunity for local businesses, our Indio firefighters also offer fire extinguisher training classes. Recently, firefighters from Fire Station 86 put on a class for employees at Sunline Transit Agency. 

In addition, on March 9, 2020, City, County and Federal fire and hazardous materials agencies and Indio Police are joining together with American Medical Response, College of the Desert, Riverside County EMD, and other first responders, for a training drill at the Empire Polo Grounds. This large scale effort before the music festivals in April will help prepare our teams in the event of any major incident, and raise awareness of the resources needed to be ready in case of an emergency.
Upcoming E-w aste and Composting Event

The City of Indio, in partnership with Desert Arc Recycling, provides free electronic waste collection events throughout the year. These events are open to anyone in the Coachella Valley. The next e-waste collection event will be held Saturday, March 14, 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Indio Water Authority/Corporate Yard located at 83101 Avenue 45, Indio.

Many types of electronic products used in the workplace and homes contain hazardous substances like lead and mercury. It is illegal to dispose of these hazardous electronic wastes in the regular trash can. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to: 

  • Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes (CRT)
  • LCD desktop monitors;
  • Laptop computers with LCD displays;
  • LCD televisions;
  • Plasma televisions; and
  • Portable DVD players with LCD screens.

Also at this sustainability collection event, residents can also drop off used oil, used oil filters, tires, paper shredding and items for composting.

If you have any questions about the programs please contact the environmental programs coordinator at 760-625-1815.
8th Annual Free Medical, Dental & Vision Clinic
to be Held at the
Riverside County Fairgrounds

California CareForce – a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing free health, dental, and vision services to residents all over California – returns to the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio for its Coachella Valley Clinic March 27-28, 2020. Now in its eighth year, the clinic operates through a volunteer-based workface and is expected to provide care for an anticipated 500-800 people per day. No insurance is necessary, there are no co-pays, and no I.D. is required.

The clinic will have 90 dental stations, 10 medical exam rooms and 10 vision lanes. A vision lab will produce free prescription eyeglasses on site while patients wait. Dentistry will include cleanings, fillings and extractions. Medical doctors will provide services ranging from consultation and diagnosis to minor medical procedures. Nurses will staff triage areas and provide medical assistance. Clinic patients will be seen on a first-come-first serve basis, with no income test or eligibility requirement of any kind to receive treatment.

Volunteers are still needed in the following categories:
Oral Surgeons
Dental Assistants
Dental X-RAY Techs
Ophthalmic Techs

Wristbands for next-day services will be distributed at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26th and Friday, March 27th. One wristband per person in line is allowed, and one service per person per day. There may be limited first come, first serve spots available on clinic days. All services are FREE; clinic participants need NO proof of insurance, employment, income, residency, immigration status or an ID to receive them.

Shadow Hills High School Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Come celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Shadow Hills High School on Sunday, March 21, 2020 at The Lights at Indio G.C. from 5-9 p.m. Shadow Hills High School opened on August 31, 2009, with about 600 freshman and sophomore students. The Denim and Diamonds 10 Year Celebration is a free event for families to come and enjoy food trucks, games and live music celebrating this milestone for Shadow Hills High School. Parking is only $5. Follow SHHS in Twitter @SHHSASB.
Auen Foundation Donates to Loma Linda University Children's Health - Indio

Have you visited the Loma Linda University Children's Health - Indio lately? The already bright interior just got some extra sunshine in the form of a $100,000 donation from the Auen Foundation. One of Loma Linda's tiniest ambassadors, Emanuel (left), was on hand for the ribbon cutting, as well as some of the clinic's biggest benefactors, to officially open The Auen Children's Play Area. More than 3,000 children now call this clinic on 82-934 W. Civic Center Drive, their medical home. To schedule an appointment call (760) 477-0733. The clinic operates Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Desert Theatreworks presents
The Producers A Mel Brooks Musical! 

Based on the 1968 film, Mel Brooks' The Producers is a laugh-out-loud, outrageous, crowd-pleasing musical-comedy that has been a smash hit since its 2001 debut. Fading Broadway producer Max Bialystock is desperate to get to the top of his profession again, and finds an unlikely ally in mousy accountant Leo Bloom, who predicts that one could make far more money with a flop of a show than with a hit. Together, the two set out to produce the worst musical ever to hit Broadway. Unfortunately for them, their show is a huge hit! With no shortage of show-stopping musical numbers, and Brooks' signature humor keeping audiences in stitches, The Producers is definitely far from a flop. Experience all the madcap fun from this tony award winner for best musical. 

Opening March 13-29, 2020 only at the Indio Performing Arts Center! Tickets available at dtworks.org or call 760-980-145.
Desert Best Friend's Closet Host their Annual Prom Dress Giveaway

Desert Best Friend’s Closet, a non-profit dedicated to providing a bridge to employment with wardrobe and job search services, is proud to provide prom dresses for the Prom Dress Giveaway hosted by the Desert Recreation District. There are four upcoming dates for local high school students to find their perfect prom dress:

  • Friday, March 13 2:00pm to 8:00pm at Mecca Community Center, 65-250 Coahuila Street, Mecca
  • Friday, March 20 2:00pm to 8:00pm at the Palm Desert Community Center 43-900 San Pablo, Palm Desert
  • Friday, March 27 2:00pm to 8:00pm at the Bagdouma Park Community Center, 51-251 Douma Street, Coachella
  • Friday, April 3 2:00pm to 8:00pm at the Indio Teen Center, 81-678 Ave 46, Indio

Students can make an appointment for a dress fitting by calling 760-501-8120 or emailing  promdressgiveaway@drd.us.com . A valid high school ID is required to receive a dress. 

Desert Best Friend’s Closet needs contemporary prom, bridesmaid and fancy party dresses for this event. They also need shoes, wraps, evening bags and jewelry. Donated dresses should be free of stains, tears or broken zippers. All dresses must be cleaned, on a hanger and ready to wear. Long and short dresses are needed. There is also a high need for dresses in sizes 14 or larger. Bring donations to Desert Best Friend’s Closet service site in Palm Desert located at 74-040 Highway 111, Suite F, Palm Desert. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 760-776-9975.
Foodie Fridays at Indio Grand Marketplace

Food trucks, vendors and artists will be at the Indio Grand Marketplace every Friday from 4 to 8 pm. Come and enjoy delicious food, shopping and more. This event is held in conjunction with CV Food Park - Coachella Valley’s first Food Truck Park. This event takes place every week. Admission is free. Indio Grand Marketplace is located at 82227 Hwy. 111, Indio.
Indio iHub Now Open

The City of Indio, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce (GCVCC) celebrated the official grand opening of a Pilot iHub facility in Downtown Indio. The iHub is currently located in the GCVCC building at 82-921 Indio Boulevard, and is expected to attract between six and 12 quality businesses within the first year. An iHub is an incubation location for innovative start-up businesses which fosters new ideas through collaboration and support, as well as interactions with a wide variety of industries. To submit an application for the iHub, call 760-340-1575.
Indio Hills Trail Opening

The city will celebrate the official opening of the Indio Hills Trail on March 20, 2020 at 9 a.m. 

The five mile loop trail was a joint undertaking of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy (Conservancy), Friends of the Desert Mountains (FODM), City of Indio, Indio Water Authority (IWA) and the Bureau of Land Management. The project included new parking, fencing, access and safety improvements at the trailhead. Funding was provided primarily by the Conservancy, the City and IWA, and volunteers from FODM and local hiking clubs scouted the trail route, built new sections and cleaned up the area alongside it. The celebration will include a ribbon cutting and inaugural hike.

The trailhead is adjacent to the Coachella Valley Canal and future site of Indio’s Posse Park. The trail winds through canyons and leads up to the crest of the mud hills that feature rare views looking into the Coachella Valley and at its surrounding mountain ranges.

The City of Indio is the largest and fastest growing city in the Coachella Valley 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 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