Volume 31 | October 2019
Mayor Pro Tem
Dear Neighbors,

I am literally writing this column amidst the organized chaos of packing and moving our Scott family household to our new home in Indio. We are excited to be here (almost) and looking forward to some post-move peace and quiet. 

Living temporarily out of boxes is an inconvenient challenge, but I can’t help but think of those who are not so lucky and whose chaos never really ends. We feel like we consistently make progress (incremental steps) in combating homelessness, but it remains a priority. The Indio community has long been at the forefront of this effort. We have many generous, caring people here, including those at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Martha’s Village, ABC Recovery Center, FIND Food Bank, many in our own religious community, JFK Hospital and others in the medical community. The Desert Healthcare District, which recently received voter approval to move into the East Coachella Valley, has taken a leadership role both in funding and facilitating strategy to combat homelessness. Social services are provided in Indio by Riverside County, a host of remarkable nonprofits, and a very few for-profit community care providers who step up to this challenge. Affordable housing has been built and operated for many years by the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition under Julie Bornstein’s remarkable leadership. Habitat for Humanity does new projects every year, often supported by our business community. As always, SunLine Transit is involved in affordable transportation, much as they support virtually every worthwhile program in the region. I could go on. The Salvation Army, Path of Life Ministries, all of our neighboring cities, etc.

I am leaving names out here, at my own peril. I have such admiration for all those who volunteer or commit their careers to this work. The educational community in Indio and the Coachella Valley work hard to teach career skills and to provide counseling to those in need. Just teaching life skills is of critical importance.

The Indio City Council also addresses homelessness on a regional basis. We participate with other cities and the County through Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) committees that fund and provide regional assistance — temporary sheltering, cooling and warming centers, medical assistance, counseling, vocational skills, and permanent housing. We work closely with Riverside County officials in the CAO’s Office and Supervisor Perez’s Office (Greg Ramirez). I am aware of the frustration among the public about homelessness – both the humanity of it and the impacts on parks, sidewalks, private properties, sanitation, etc.

The Indio Police Department operates a high-performing Quality of Life Team that constantly works with the homeless and with those who are affected by the blight and security issues that come with it. I am proud to be associated with these very caring teammates. They make every effort 24/7 to help people find solutions. Residents are welcome to make contact with the Quality of Life Team (760-391-4051) if you have concerns that you wish to discuss. 

Meanwhile, I will finish the move into my new home and feel good to be part of this community. I am particularly happy to be in a community that cares so much about solving problems for those who need us the most.

Mark Scott
City Manager
Indio Appoints New Director Of Communications & Marketing Position

The City of Indio has announced that they will be appointing television anchor and investigative reporter Brooke Beare to Indio’s new Director of Communications & Marketing position. Ms. Beare has distinguished herself for over 16 years in the Coachella Valley both through her achievements as an award-winning journalist, and as a leader in the philanthropic community.

City Manager Scott referred to Ms. Beare’s hiring as another step in Indio’s strategic planning. “The City of Indio is experiencing a sustained spike in interest from people who wish to reside, invest, or conduct business here. Our City Council has committed to a 'BOLD!' initiative of community enhancements. Bringing in someone with Ms. Beare’s talents and community awareness is yet another positive step in realizing the opportunities being presented to us. She will serve the dual mission of communicating those opportunities to our publics and doing so with transparency and integrity.”

“I am so blessed to have enjoyed a rich on-air relationship with the Coachella Valley. I intend to continue to build that relationship in my new role in Indio – this time from the other side of the camera,” Beare said. “This move was attractive to me for reasons that are both professional and personal. From a career standpoint, I am eager to join the team of people who are working to realize the Indio's full potential as a thriving and diverse place to live, play, and soak up our area's rich history."

In her new role with the City, Ms. Beare will be responsible for developing Indio's strategic marketing plans, managing social media and website content, and establishing internal marketing standards. She will also serve as the City’s Public Information Officer. Click here to read the official press release. 
The Indio Senior Center Offers Blood Pressure Classes and Unveils New Blood Pressure Kiosk

The Indio Senior Center, in partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA) and Desert Oasis Healthcare, began offering a series of blood pressure classes in September 2019 to educate residents on how to improve their heart health as part of the “Desert Communities: Life is Why” initiative. The AHA also unveiled a new blood pressure kiosk at the Indio Senior Center to allow members to check their blood pressure on a regular basis outside of the doctor’s office. The kiosk is free to use and is a great way to monitor blood pressure in a relaxing setting, and offers tips on how to lower high blood pressure risk. High blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because there are no obvious warning signs and if left uncontrolled it can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious life threats. 

The remaining classes will be held from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., in both English and Spanish, on the following dates: 
•    Control Your Blood Pressure - October 21, 2019 
•    Eating Smart with Fruits & Vegetables - November 18, 2019 
•    Salt & Cardiovascular Risk - December 16, 2019 

To join the Indio Senior Center or for more information, visit  Indio.org/SeniorCenter  or call 760-391-4170.
Avenue 44 Now Open after 2019 Valentine's Day Storm 

After unprecedented heavy storms swept through the Coachella Valley and washed out a portion of the road on Avenue 44 along the Whitewater Storm Channel on February 14, 2019, the roadway is now repaired and open to through traffic. That section of Avenue 44 experienced heavy damage and a 24" waterline had to be repaired by the Indio Water Authority before street repairs could commence. City staff were able to acquire a majority of the $312,000 funding from the Federal Highway Administration to rebuild the road. The City has been developing a long-term plan to construct a permanent bridge over the storm channel. The construction of the permanent bridge will begin in about three years and will take 18 months to complete.
Avenida Music Moves into
Downtown Indio

Avenida Music is a home-grown family music group born and raised in the Coachella Valley that has been performing for the public since 2014. Now, Avenida Music calls downtown Indio home. The band, which consists of Josiah Gonzalez, Samuel Gonzalez, Vince Gonzalez and Sean Poe, recently moved into 82713 Miles Avenue and is sharing the space with the Academy of Musical Performance (AMP). The new location will serve multiple purposes for Avenida Muisc that include an office, rehearsal space and music lesson space. To introduce themselves to the Indio community, the band will be hosting their grand opening on October 12th 6p.m. - 9p.m. with live music, food and art. All are welcome to come and enjoy the fresh evening and listen to some great music. To learn more about Avenida Music, read their CV Independent article  here  or visit their  website .
Coachella Valley Community Trust Receives Award from the Indio City Council

At the Indio City Council meeting on September 18, 2019, the Coachella Valley Community Trust (CVCT) was recognized for transforming lives and collaborative work in the community for 25 years. Founded in 1994 and once known as the Indio Youth Task Force, the CVCT offered Indio kids mentorship, tutoring, and after school activities to build their confidence, support their emotional and mental health, and move them away from gangs so they could have a better future. Today, the CVCT continues to partner with over 60 community-based organizations to focus on school and education based youth programming, juvenile diversion and prevention, youth health and social services, and youth development. The CVCT also offers scholarships and/or financial aid to high school seniors entering college or certification programs. For more information, go to  www.cvcommunitytrust.org/
Introducing the 2019-2020 Youth Advisory Council

The City of Indio is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Youth Advisory Council: YAC Mayor Jade Heredia-Salas, YAC Mayor Pro Tem Rogelio Torres, YAC Treasurer Andrew Cervantes, YAC Secretary Licett Alvarado, YAC Publicist Denise Campos, and YAC Members- Natalia Bañuelos, Aracely Garza, Katherine Escalante Gomez, Edna Isbel Mora-Luque, Anna Perez, Irie Quintessa Carmona, Victoria Terriquez and Tania Valdez.
YAC, through the Indio Teen Center, was recently awarded a $5,000 grant by the Riverside University Health System "Each Mind Matters” campaign. It is a suicide prevention campaign that consists of self-care activities.

Please add the Indio Teen Center and follow them on Snapchat and Instagram under ‘indioteencenter’ for the latest in programming, field trips and more.
Indio Fire Station 3 Acquires New Paramedic Ambulance

On September 10, 2019, Indio Fire Station 3, located at 46621 Madison Street, placed a new paramedic ambulance into service. The previous ambulance, Medic 88, responded to over 1,700 emergencies in 2018 and has now gone into reserve status and will be used only when front line paramedic ambulances are scheduled for maintenance. The new paramedic ambulance is one of three in the City staffed daily by two Paramedic Firefighters. The Indio Fire Department invites anyone from the community to come by to see the new equipment or visit any of the four Fire Stations in the City. The men and women of our Fire Department are very thankful for the new ambulance and will continue to serve our community with pride and professionalism.  Click here  for more information about the Indio Fire Department.
Will Sturgeon from the Academy of Musical Performance Voted Best Music Producer

Will Sturgeon, Producer and Executive Director with the Academy of Musical Performance (AMP), has won the “Best Producer” award at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music Awards for the second year in a row! “I feel honored and proud to be recognized,” Sturgeon said in an August 2019 interview with  Coachella Valley Weekly . “I’m passionate about making good records and I’m glad that other people feel that I do. There are so many great musicians and producers out here and I’m glad to grow alongside all of them.”

Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, Sturgeon went on to claim the title of the first graduate of the University of Southern California’s Popular Music Performance program in 2012. While at USC, he spent his time studying songwriting and performance in one of the world’s biggest music cities under some of the founders of contemporary music and education: Steve Miller, Lamont Dozier, Patrice Rushen, Chris Sampson, and more. After college and some time traveling, Sturgeon turned his attention back to the desert in 2015 when he caught wind of a summer camp rock-band program called AMP, and has been involved with AMP ever since. 

To learn more about Sturgeon and AMP, visit their  website . To read the full Coachella Valley Weekly, click here .  
Senior Inspirations Award Call for Nominations

Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez is seeking nominations of seniors in Indio to receive the Senior Inspirations Award. Every year, the County of Riverside and the Coachella Valley's nine cities honor senior citizens 65 years of age and older who inspire others through their volunteerism and active engagement in the community. This annual event honors these unsung heroes for their ongoing contribution and dedication to our communities. The 28th Annual Senior Inspirations Award will be held on Friday, March 13, 2020.
Eligible recipients must:
•Be at least 65 years old
•Reside and/or volunteer in nominating city
•Be actively involved in community affairs for a lengthy period of time
•Deserve to receive recognition and/or may not otherwise receive recognition for their service to the community
•Personify a healthy, active, and contributing attitude and lifestyle
The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Click here to download the nomination form and send to Nancy Vance at  seniorcenter@indio.org  or 45700 Aladdin St. Indio CA 92201. 
Indio Begins Citywide Road Improvement Projects

The City of Indio began laying new asphalt on major roads and residential streets throughout the City on Monday, September 30, 2019. The work will continue through Monday, December 23, 2019, and will occur between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Residents and motorists should expect travel delays, are urged to use alternate routes, and should observe all construction signs and obey road crews. 

The project is part of the City’s street maintenance program to restore the appearance of the street pavement while extending its service life and minimizing further deterioration. The work involves grinding the top surface of the street and overlaying it with new asphalt as well as slurry sealing, which is a mixture of asphalt and fine aggregate to repair cracks and surface defects on roads. Some streets will also include the repairs of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, ramps and driveways. 
Click here for more information and to see the streets and neighborhoods where work will occur. 
Indio Water Authority Increases Rebates For Turf Removal

Are you looking for water-efficient alternatives to your thirsty lawns? Indio Water Authority (“IWA”) is here to help you do that by increasing the incentive. Now is the time to remove underutilized turf areas and install plants that use less water and requires less maintenance!

The rebate for replacing grass areas with desert-friendly and water-efficient landscape has increased from $1 to $2 per square feet. For residential customers, projects are now eligible up to a maximum of 10,000 square feet, an increase from 1,500 square feet per year. For commercial customers, the maximum increased from 4,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet per year. The changes went into effect on September 19 and will be in effect as long as funds are available. 

Applications for the turf rebate program will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Conversion projects must be pre-approved to be eligible for a rebate.

Applicants must: 
  • Be an IWA customer in good standing
  • Submit an application along with backup documents including a landscape plan/sketch and plant list of trees, shrubs, ground covers 
  • Submit color photos of existing turf areas listed in the application

Among other program requirements and conditions: 
  • Overhead irrigation systems in the project area must be capped off or converted to drip, rotating stream, rotating spray or bubblers.
  • Desert-friendly plants must cover a minimum of 20 percent of the new landscaped area at maturity.
  • Turf cannot be entirely replaced with all rock, decomposed granite or non-permeable hardscape.
  • Artificial turf projects qualify for a rebate; artificial turf must be air and water permeable.

Check out our Water Conservation & Rebates page at  www.indiowater.org  to see how you can take advantage of our rebates and incentives to save you a lot of water and money: 

Please call IWA at (760) 391-4038 and they will be glad to guide you through the application process. 
Overseeding is Upon us for the Month of October

The Lights at Indio GC will close the golf course on Monday, September 30th and reopen the golf course on October 23rd. Tee-Times may be made in advance beginning October 20th. The first ten to fourteen days will be walking play only.
During the period of time the golf course is being overseeded the Driving Range will remain open from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm., 7 days a week.
The golf course reopens on Wednesday, October 23rd there will be some nice changes that have occurred. To List a few of the improvements; new target greens on the Driving Range, the improved quality of grass on the driving range hitting area, trimmed Palm Trees, newly renovated tees and new golf carts. Golfers may face a new mental challenge on Hole # 9 based on the removal of cattails hiding one of the few penalty areas (formally called “water hazard”).
The Lights at GC is also pleased to announce that they will again be hosting the Indio California BBQ State Championship & Festival on Saturday November 2nd. Click here for more information. 
To review the current golf specials, book your tee time or schedule your next golf lesson, go to www.indiogolf.com .
Be Prepared for Emergencies

Has your family made a plan in the event of an emergency or disaster? How about your neighborhood? The City's first responders and emergency operations center will activate but what if we are unable to get to you in a timely manner? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says our neighbors are most likely to be the “first responders” within the first 24 hours following a major incident. So, not only should you make a plan for your household, we strongly encourage making plans with your neighbors also. 

Below are helpful steps to create an emergency preparedness plan: 

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan. 
 -How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings? 
 -What is your shelter plan? 
 -What is your evacuation route? 
 -What is your family/household communication plan? 
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household. 
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan. 
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household. Do not forget to include kids! 

For more information, please visit  www.ready.gov/plan  and www.rivcoready.org/ .  
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