State of Imperial Beach Still ‘Absolutely Awesome’
February 21, 2017
By Mario A. Cortez
Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina held his annual State of the CIty address this Tuesday, February 21, where he spoke about the progress they have made in the past year in tackling some of the City’s main issues.
Mayor Dedina briefly spoke with La Prensa San Diego prior to taking the podium about the progress the City has seen since his last address.
“We have the Bikeway Village coming on the bayfront with a possible April inauguration, and the largest residential market rate development in our city’s history so lots of great things are happening,” said Dedina. “We have got the greatest construction process in the history of our city, we are paving alleys, we are building a shopping center near 9th and Palm with a Grocery Outlet to provide affordable, first-class shipping for our residents and we have been combating blight, tearing down chain link fences, and cleaning up empty lots.”
Beautification of public spaces and road improvements are not the only changes which Dedina has lead the charge on. The City has been cracking down on absentee landlords who allow their vacant lots to become full of trash through a shift on code compliance.
The Mayor also spoke about the sewage odor problem, which has been a constant issue near the Tijuana River Valley and has become a greater problem with constant rains intensifying the problem.
“Runoff binational pollution is not just an Imperial Beach problem, it goes down from Rosarito to Coronado. We are pushing to get infrastructure built in Tijuana alongside with the North American Development Bank, the Border Environmental Cooperation Coalition, Councilman David Alvarez, and the mayors of South County.”
From the podium, Dedina further explained his action plan to combat the runoff problem in Imperial Beach.
“[The leaders and organizations involved] promised to release a plan by the end of the month so I’m going to hold them to that,” Dedina said.
“The first thing would be to deal with the up to 50 million gallons a day of raw sewage discharge on the beach,” Dedina said. “They said they would start work on a pipe to deal with that this year and then to build a new sewage plant where they currently dump about 40 million gallons a day of raw sewage on the beach, so that’s the second part.”
“They have to do this because they want to build a desal plant in Rosarito Beach and they want to sell that water from the desal plant back to Chula Vista, so we’ve let them know you’re not gonna sell a drop of that water to consumers in San Diego County unless you fix our sewage up,” Dedina said.
Public safety is another area in which the city has seen a huge improvement. Imperial Beach reported the lowest crime rate among beach communities in San Diego County, reporting a lower crime index than communities such as Del Mar, Coronado, La Jolla, and Encinitas.
“We are lucky to have a smart and strategic cooperation with the Sheriff’s department who has helped bring down our crime rates to their lowest levels ever. We thought the rates couldn’t get lower in 2015 but in 2016 the crime rate decreased further,” Dedina stated.
“Other places might have the nice big houses on the beach but we are a safer and way cooler community,” Dedina said jokingly to the applauding audience.
The mayor closed his State of the City Address by thanking his staff, city workers, the City Council, and the military. And by proclaiming that the state of Imperial Beach is still “absolutely awesome.”
“It is thanks to everybody that we work with that Imperial Beach is the coolest beach town on the planet. Thank you very much,” Mayor Dedina closed.