Updated at 9:18 a.m. Feb. 20, 2012
All Things Bright & British, Antique Alley, Antique Galleria, Aubrey Rose Tea Room, Billiards Direct, Don Keating Automotive, Fashion Kiss, Gentlemen’s Resale, Gingham Restaurant, Golden Artistry, Handful of Wildflowers, Hoffers Cigar Bar, Keller Williams Realty, Lupe’s Shoe Service, Marcella June Coffee, Maxwell’s House of Books, Michael Collins Fine Jewelry, Mostly Mission, Moze Guitars, OP Insurance, Park Estate Company, Por Favor Restaurant, Pret-a-Porter Salon, Readers Inc., Sanfilippo's Pizza, Scarlet Label, San Diego Nutrition, Sotheby’s International Realty, Sparrow Bridal Boutique, Stewart Title, Swami’s Restaurant, Tiramisu Restaurant, Strategic Financial Services, Steve Sund CPA, Time & Treasures, Village Gym, Webko Realty, Windermere SoCal are some of the Downtown La Mesa businesses I was able to speak with on Tuesday regarding dedicating a small portion of parking meter money toward cleaning and beautifying La Mesa Village for our once-in-a-lifetime Centennial happening this year.
Enthusiastic comments ranged from “about time” to “great idea” to “no brainer.”
Though community volunteers swept sidewalks and streets, collected cigarette butts and blew leaves last Saturday, one week later, cigarette butts and litter abound, making obvious the need for a system to keep downtown La Mesa unpolluted for the rest of 2012.
Additionally, power-washing sidewalks and year-long planter maintenance are outside the capabilities of volunteers. Power-washing must be done by professionals equipped with powerful machinery and the technology to comply with California environmental laws. And flowers too have a better chance of blooming and thriving under the care of a professional landscaper/gardener.
A possible system and the means to stay on top of the litter, cigarette butts, street sweeping, power washing and planter flowers for our Centennial will be discussed this Tuesday, February 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the La Mesa Parking Commission meeting at City Council chambers.
On the agenda: dedicating a small portion of the Downtown Parking Fund, i.e. parking meter money toward cleaning and beautifying the Village for our 100th Birthday.
The Downtown Parking Fund collects approximately $300,000 per year; its current balance is $864,000 with approximately $600,000 being held in reserves. Because we're already two months into 2012, less than $30,000 (approx 10% annual revenues/approx 3% of current total balance) would cover:
- An additional weekly street sweeping. Currently, the City of La Mesa pays to have the streets swept every Wednesday. Street sweeping would move to Mondays and Fridays with the city paying for one and the parking meters paying for the other. Cost: $300/week.
- Power washing La Mesa Boulevard sidewalks once a quarter. Cost: $3,000/quarter.
- Flower planting & maintenance for the dozens of downtown planters. Cost: $5,000/year.
I hope my fellow commissioners — James Wieboldt, Lynn McRea, Sherry Gillespie and Gina Franklin — recognize this unique and wonderful opportunity we have to vote yes on advising the La Mesa City Council to dedicate a small portion of meter money toward cleaning and beautifying the Village for our Centennial.
This action would reduce parking meter hostility (and believe me there is a lot of that), express good will toward La Mesa Village businesses, improve the shopping and dining experience for our visitors and boost our image and reputation in and outside of La Mesa.
Now that's a birthday present!