Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fremont mayor says city needs revenue

The city needs to boost revenue if it is to provide services that residents expect, Mayor Bob Wasserman said Monday in his fourth State of the City address.

Wasserman touted recent sales tax growth and new shopping centers as evidence of progress during a speech that focused mainly on city finances.

"Signs indicate that Fremont is heading is the right direction," he told a crowd of about 240 civic leaders and Fremont Chamber of Commerce members at the Fremont Marriott.

The mayor also announced that two of Fremont's biggest construction efforts could be completed earlier than expected.

The Washington Avenue/Paseo Padre Grade Separation project is nearly a year ahead of schedule and should be finished by early 2010, Wasserman said.

He gave 2014 as the estimated start for BART service to Warm Springs. BART has used 2013 as a tentative starting date, but city officials had been hesitant to give any date, fearing that the service could start much later.

He also touted a retail center planned for Dixon Landing Road and drew applause when he briefly mentioned that environmental studies were continuing on the Oakland A's ballpark village proposal.

As for the vacant 6-acre lot along Fremont Boulevard in the Centerville district, Wasserman acknowledged that it "has been a work in progress for many years."

A new development plan, including housing and shops, is in the works, he said.

Wasserman also noted several grants the city has received this year to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide better services to seniors and open a hazardous materials drop-off center, which is scheduled to open in July.

Click to view the State of the City Address.

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