City plans numerous projects in Chandler this year SanTan Sun News

City plans numerous projects in Chandler this year

January 21st, 2021 Editorial Staff
City plans numerous projects in Chandler this year
Community
3

6 p.m. JanBy the City of Chandler

For the past 11 months, many people have learned to adapt, learn and grow through the ongoing disruptions, distractions, social isolation, uncertainty and fear.
Sadly, many have had to cope with loss – of loved ones, jobs, friendships and more. However, a new year holds the promise of positive change and the possibility that something better lies ahead for us.
Whatever surprises 2021 holds for our community, Chandler residents can count on city leaders and employees working to build a better community by pursuing the strategic policy goals and areas of focus established by the City Council.
That means attracting a range of private sector businesses, maintaining fiscal sustainability, being a leader in trust and transparency, being the most connected City, being safe and beautiful, and fostering a contemporary culture that embraces unity.
What follows is a preview of what you can expect in the first half of 2021 and beyond.
COVID-19. It is most likely that COVID-19 will continue to adversely affect Chandler residents and businesses this year in varying degrees.
However, as they’ve done for the past year, City of Chandler employees in all departments will continue to work very hard to adapt to the pandemic and the challenges of safely delivering programs and services to the public.
City staff will continue to collaborate, innovate, and use technology and online resources to serve the community at a high level. COVID-19 mitigation and prevention steps, like wearing masks indoors and social distancing, will likely continue well into the year, or until a large percentage of the population has been vaccinated against the virus.
City Council. New members Christine Ellis and OD Harris join re-elected Mark Stewart on the reconstituted City Council.
At 6 p.m. Feb. 18, Mayor Hartke will give his annual State of the City Address, streamed live online.
In the first half of the year, Council will debate and vote on several issues of critical importance to the community. Each year, the City Council adopts a structurally balanced and financially stable operating budget and capital improvement program that aligns City services with council priorities.
The ongoing 2021-2022 budget planning process is transparent and provides multiple opportunities for the public to weigh in on their priorities prior to tentative adoption on May 27 and final adoption on June 10. For the latest details Council budget workshops and briefings visit chandleraz.gov/budget.
Citizen Bond Exploratory Committee. Council last year created this committee to provide a recommendation for the amount of bond authorization needed to maintain and enhance the public infrastructure that will keep Chandler moving forward as the Community of Innovation.
The committee will soon present its recommendations to the Council, which will decide if a bond election is in the city’s best interest.
If so, they will choose the categories of improvements they deem most important, set a funding limit and select the date of the special ballot-by-mail election. The public can follow the bond election process at chandleraz.gov/BondElection.
Transportation infrastructure. Chandler, in partnership with Valley Metro, is evaluating transit service alternatives beyond traditional fixed route bus service within the Price Road corridor.
A virtual Price Road Flexible Transit Study Online Public Meeting is currently underway for the public to share feedback on alternative transit services, including micro-transit, bus flex routes and ride share services.
You can provide questions or comments now through Jan. 25, by taking our survey at valleymetro.org/price-road.
Public safety. The Chandler Fire Department will continue to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare providers, essential government workers, at-risk populations and the general public.
Chandler Fire also will host a public safety forum (date to be determined) to engage community stakeholders in dialogue about the service provided by the department, the needs of the community and expectations moving forward.
Chandler Police Department will continue to leverage technology to help police perform smarter and more effectively. The public can expect to see police employees embedded throughout the community, working alongside our residents as we work together to keep our community safe.
Arts and culture. Chandler’s entertainment, arts and culture scene will continue to be nurtured through this challenging period by the city’s Cultural Development Department, which includes the Center for the Arts, Vision Gallery Chandler Museum, and the Special Events and Downtown Redevelopment teams.
While these facilities had to shut their doors for in-person events and cancel or postpone many programs to help prevent the spread, they’ve still been able to find creative ways to continue to serve the community.
The show has gone on, with small group outdoor concerts and performing arts presentations through social media and using streaming technology.
And thanks to physical distancing measures, the public still can safely visit the Museum and the galleries at the Center for the Arts and City Hall. Once it is safe to resume live indoor performances, the Center for the Arts will be ready to host a variety of in-person performances (details at chandlercenter.org)
One of the programs that has successfully adapted to the limitations imposed by the pandemic is Vision Kids, a series of art classes taught by professional artists for kids ages 6 to 16 and offered free of charge.
Thanks to the dedication and resourcefulness of Chandler’s visual arts staff, the arts classes are now conducted online, which has enabled class sizes to expand and given more children in Chandler access to the arts. Virtual learning has also expanded the list of possible teachers and the type of art instruction that can be offered.
Vision Kids class registration is now underway at visiongallery.org.
Economic development. Because Chandler has maintained a strong and diversified economy for so many years, the negative financial impacts of the pandemic so far have not been as severe as those experienced by other communities.
In 2021, the Economic Development Division will continue to look for programs and financial resources to assist local businesses through this challenging time. Recruitment of new businesses and supporting the growth of existing Chandler businesses also will remain high priorities for City staff. Look for more good news coming from the City’s #iChooseChandler campaign, as well.
Public works. The Public Works & Utilities Department continues to play a large role in making Chandler a safe and beautiful city through our exceptional streets and landscape maintenance programs.
Several major road construction projects in south Chandler will continue in 2021, including along Alma School Road, Cooper Road, Gilbert Road and Chandler Heights Road. In west Chandler, projects to add bike lanes along Kyrene Road, McClintock Road and West Chandler Boulevard should be completed by the end of the year.
Neighborhoods. Raising and maintaining the quality of Chandler neighborhoods will continue to be a priority for the Neighborhood Resources Department.
The quality and quantity of code enforcement inspections is anticipated to increase with the implementation of a new code.
Enforcement case management system. Neighborhoods will also be able to ask for improvement grants through an online application process.
Parks. The Parks division will begin construction on the Homestead North Park site and four new softball fields at Tumbleweed Park, finish the renovation of Vida Park (formerly East Mini Park) and complete Phase 1 of the Lantana Ranch Park site.
The division also is committed to increasing the quality of park maintenance and improving the condition of all City athletic fields in an effort to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for all park users.
Public records. Chandler’s commitment to transparency continues in 2021 with the implementation by the City Clerk’s Office of a new online Public Records Portal that residents can use to access public records such as ordinances, resolutions, and meeting minutes from the 1920’s to present.
A new digital public meeting posting board will allow for the electronic posting of all public meeting notices replacing the manual process that is currently performed.
Chandler will host a Veterans Day event on Nov. 11 at Veterans Oasis Park in southeast Chandler and celebrate the completion of Phase II of the City’s inspiring Veterans Memorial.
Events. Anything could happen in 2021, but if we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and as vaccination rates increase, we also might be able to look forward to the following:
The reopening of all public facilities to full capacity and resumption of all in-person City services, programs, classes and public meetings.
The return of many of the exciting festivals and special events our community is known for, including the Family Easter Celebration, Jazz Festival, July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, holiday Parade of Lights and Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The safe return to full-time in-person learning at all schools that serve Chandler, and the full resumption of all extracurricular activities and sports for students of all ages.
Finally, the City of Chandler also encourages everyone to continue to support local restaurants, shops and nonprofits that may be struggling in this challenging business climate.
Whether shopping online, ordering take-out, visiting your favorite establishments in person or donating to local causes, your purchases and support will help these local businesses and nonprofits stay afloat while we wait for a return to normalcy.

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