At the City Council meeting on Thursday, May 26th, City Council unanimously adopted a recent strategic planning report as the core work plan utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funding to address community needs and priorities. This document was informed by extensive community engagement and data collection. Priority areas include: Community Image (blight abatement and homelessness prevention), Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Community Connection (including community events).
The work plan was originally presented at City Council’s Strategic Planning Retreat on May 10 and includes 48 recommendations for policy and programming over the next two years to achieve community goals in four community priority areas. With adoption, it will serve as a focused foundation through March 2024 to provide clarity of mission and ensure ARPA allocations advance progress of community priorities. During the Strategic Planning retreat, City Council selected a series of 29 strategic objectives from the work plan as goals for the immediate next six months. Staff will report out every six months over the two-year term implementation and ensure opportunity for modifications based upon evolving needs, results and return on investment of programs. All City Council members declared full support for the work plan, with Councilmember Jeannie Bruins stating, “The creative ideas that have come out of this are going to be really well received by the public once they’re known”. Vice Mayor Schaefer voiced support as well, saying “This document, it’s powerful and really is important to our community growth and pride”
As an additional agenda item at last night’s council meeting staff presented information on the first four programs for implementation from the recently approved six-month strategic objectives. A highlight of the recommendations included a proposal for a Beautification Crew. The program would be comprised of two full time limited-term field staff positions and a vehicle outfitted to address nuisances and complete proactive abatement activity including homeless camp abatement, illegal dumps, abandoned transient carts and litter removal from rights of way. Staff noted ARPA funding provides a unique opportunity to fund this program that would otherwise be cost restrictive, and achieve shared community goals of COVID recovery, cleanliness and increased vibrancy. Other strategic objective programs detailed during last night’s meeting included a Community Block Party Trailer, Police Department replacement vehicles and Police Department Communications Center equipment needs. Program scopes and costs were presented to City Council who gave positive feedback, with Councilmember Bret Daniels stating “We’re moving in the right direction; our priorities are well established. We want the people of Citrus Heights to know we’re making a turn and we’re addressing things that are really important to our community.” All four programs will be included for consideration of funding at the Mid-Cycle Budget update at the June 23 City Council Meeting.
Additional items from the ARPA work plan will be brought forward to City Council incrementally over the course of the funding allocation period through December 31, 2024, with funding required to be expended by December 31, 2026. City Leadership and staff are committed to responsible and transparent stewardship of one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and recognize the unique opportunity the funding provides to make community-facing investments, fulfill community needs, and advance progress in key community goal areas. As testament to that commitment, the presentation included information on a plan to stand up an online dashboard to provide transparent and accessible information on Citrus Heights American Rescue Plan Act funding allocation, program metrics and results. For additional information on how the City of Citrus Heights has leveraged American Rescue Plan Act funding to advance community goals, click here.