LA VERNE - Mayor Don Kendrick gave a La Verne State of the City speech Thursday packed with mostly positive details about city finances, housing developments and goals.

"In general, we are positioned better than many other cities that have been highlighted in the news in recent months, but we are not without our challenges," Kendrick said to a nearly full crowd inside The Meeting House at Hillcrest.

The mayor said the city's sales-tax revenue, mostly generated by traditional retail, had increased by $200,000 from last year - a 5 percent increase despite having vacancies on the Foothill corridor.

But tax revenue is still 11 percent below the city's record high in 2008, Kendrick said.

Additionally, Kendrick said the city had put $160,000 worth of improvements into eight of 19 city parks - including Oak Mesa, Pelota and Emerald parks - and completed major pavement work on more than 30 streets. A total of 3.3 miles of road were repaired.

New projects in 2012 included La Verne Village, which broke ground in December. It will be a mixed-use development of 172 luxury apartments with an adjoining 15,000 square feet of commercial development, Kendrick said. City officials hope the development will be ready by spring 2014.

Also new was the University of La Verne's four-story, 370-bed residence hall called Vista La Verne with a 350- space parking lot and an expanded patio to accommodate 200 people.

The police has received a $200,000 grant to build a citywide camera system to help officers, Kendrick said.

Video feeds from 18 cameras at major intersections can be seen from the Police Department. Intersections under surveillance include Foothill Boulevard and Fruit Street, Fairplex and McKinley avenues, and Arrow Highway and Wheeler Avenue, city treasurer Jeannette A. Vagnozzi said.

Kendrick concluded that actions this year will be a street-repair program featuring the use of rubberized asphalt, which costs 40 percent less than traditional asphalt and uses recycled tires. The cost of street improvements will total $1.3 million, he said.

Oak Grove Walk, behind the Edwards Regal Theater on 5.7 acres, will also feature the construction of 66 new homes with a price range of $350,000 to $450,000 and 380,000 square feet of commercial office space on 23 acres southeast of Arrow and Wheeler.

And the University of La Verne will get a 31-acre sports complex southwest of Arrow and Wheeler with a baseball stadium, lighted softball field and multi-use soccer field.

The general fund portion of the city's budget is $28.1 million, Vagnozzi said, and the city has $4.2 million in reserve, or 15 percent of the general fund.


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