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Busy Year Past, Ahead For City
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When you look back at the goals set, many of them were met by the City of Escalon during 2007 and for those that weren't met, some significant progress was made.

That, according to City Manager Greg Greeson, who recently completed a review of the year gone by and set his sights on some accomplishments hoped for this year.

Primary goals for 2008 are seeing completion of the Community Center renovation and getting the various city departments ready for relocating to the newly purchased 'Civic Center' facilities on McHenry Avenue.

Early in the year, 2007, Escalon City Council members were busy with an emergency ordinance to enact a temporary moratorium on massage establishment permits and also began working on the city's water system master plan, along with starting discussions with the Chamber, Historical Society and Lions Club for the city's 50th anniversary celebration, to be held in conjunction with Park Fete in July.

New traffic radar units were installed near Dent and El Portal schools in February, while Greeson met with the council to set goals for the coming fiscal year. The council also adopted an urgency ordinance prohibiting the establishment and operation of mobile food vendors while the existing ordinance was revised and also enacted one prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries.

"That was primarily for health and safety reasons," Greeson said of revising the food vendor ordinance.

The medical marijuana ordinance has since been extended, he said, in hopes that the state and federal governments will reach agreement on the issue and then the city can follow suit.

Work also continued that month with RRM Design group of Oakdale on the Community Center renovation.

"We had our annual team building," Greeson said of getting together with the city staff in March 2007 to take a look at what goals and objectives needed to be met. "Then we started our budget process."

The 2007-2008 fiscal budget was put together in a unique way, with Finance Director Ricky Gibbs out on illness leave during much of the time, Greeson and finance staff member Tammy Alcantor worked together on the plan, with Gibbs usually available via phone for questions and input.

The Liberty Business Park plans started to come into focus, with a workshop held on the specific plan and the Environmental Impact Report hosted by the council in March and the city's actual 50th anniversary was observed during that month, though the big celebration was due for July.

Discussions were also held with Visionary Home Builders regarding an affordable housing project in Escalon.