Santa Paula, CA – On May 19, Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce hosted its 60th Annual Santa Paula Chamber Awards, where Mayor Jenny Crosswhite presented her State of the City address. The event was themed “Resiliency Realized,” celebrating several public service acts and private enterprises that have demonstrated resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past two years, our community has faced exceptional challenges,” said Mayor Jenny Crosswhite. “Yet, today, I can proudly say that we are stronger than ever, and we are prepared to create a better future for the City of Santa Paula. I would like to thank our City staff, residents and businesses for their ongoing patience and resilience that helped us get here.”
During Mayor Crosswhite’s State of the City address, she emphasized Santa Paula’s resiliency and showcased the City’s progress over the past year. By increasing the City’s General Fund Reserves and securing $7.1 million in federal grant funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the City of Santa Paula remains in a stable financial position. The City used the first half of its ARPA funding to create several grant opportunities for local nonprofits, small businesses and residents to overcome obstacles caused by the pandemic.
In addition, Mayor Crosswhite highlighted additional state and federal funding opportunities that keep important community programs and projects alive, including tree planting efforts, the Downtown Property Business Improvement District, Santa Paula Beautiful events and the Pavement Management Plan.
Mayor Crosswhite also shared what’s on the horizon as the City heads into the next fiscal year:
- Finishing the Housing Element
- Creating a community Cultural Arts Commission
- Expansion plans for the regions new rail operator, Sierra Northern, for tourism operations
- Beginning the Harvard Boulevard Water and Sewer Pipeline Replacement and Paving Rehabilitation Project
- Moving to district-based elections
The biggest upcoming project is the Harvard Boulevard rehabilitation, which will include replacing the subterranean water and sewer main lines beneath the street, constructing pedestrian access ramps and completely repaving the street’s surface.
Mayor Crosswhite also shared news of City Council’s allocation of Measure T funds to accelerate street improvements, support the Parks and Recreation Department’s youth programs, improve the City’s urban forestry and hire additional youth through the City Corp program.
The event wrapped up with the Chamber of Commerce recognizing their annual award recipients:
- Citizen of the Year - Elvia Hernandez
- Business of the Year - Anna's Cider
- Non-Profit of the Year - Poder Popular
- Community Service - Paul Belgum
The City also honored Santa Paula Police Officer Jason Abboud with the Public Safety Award for 2021-2022.
Congratulations to all recipients on your achievements. The City of Santa Paula is looking forward to continuing on this path of resiliency and implementing innovative ways to improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and City staff.