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Citrus Heights mayor highlights ‘remarkable strides’ in State of the City update

Citrus Heights Mayor Tim Schaefer delivers the annual State of the City address on Oct. 19, 2023. // Image credit:

By Phillip Pesola–
Mayor Tim Schaefer and City Manager Ash Feeney presented the 2023 State of the City address last week on Thursday, highlighting the city’s achievements over the past year and outlining goals for the future.

Schaefer highlighted community connection and engagement as a priority area, with various events and resources being created to facilitate connections among residents. During the past year, the city helped organize or fund events such as the Wall That Heals, a Stars and Stripes celebration and fireworks show, and a City Scoop summer event series.

He emphasized the importance of neighborhood areas in fostering community connection, with the city becoming more active in supporting and promoting them in an effort to respond to declining participation. The result has been what Schaefer called a “fantastic reinvigoration” of the neighborhood areas and the emergence of new leaders.

To further support community engagement, the mayor announced the creation of a new “Citrus Heights Neighborhood Engagement Network,” which he said is designed to unify community engagement programs and provide a platform for residents to connect, be heard, and collaborate for positive change. A five-hour workshop will also be hosted next year for training residents in community engagement.

The mayor also noted the city implemented various tools to combat blight, including increased collaboration with other agencies, proactive abatement efforts, effective consequences for blight-related offenses, and supportive prevention services. He specifically noted the effectiveness of collaboration in cleaning up what he described as a “horrible and enormous” homeless camp at the Interstate 80 and Antelope Road interchange.

Schaefer also addressed economic development, including ongoing development plans for Sunrise Mall. The Sunrise Tomorrow Specific Plan, which triples the potential density of the site, was previously approved and he said the city is working to identify infrastructure improvements and funding options to support the plan. Plans for a potential hotel at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane are also being reviewed by the city and are “anticipated to move forward for consideration this winter,” he said.

Additionally, the city introduced a Business Attraction Incentive Program, offering a total of $1 million in grants to new restaurants, craft breweries, and entertainment businesses.

Turning to infrastructure, the mayor admitted the condition of the city’s roads is an ongoing concern and a “continuing challenge,” with the total cost of bringing the roads to a satisfactory standard exceeding $90 million. He emphasized the city’s commitment to investing in road improvements and implementing strategic pavement management strategies in order to maximize the return on investment, and also pointed out ongoing projects like the 2.9-mile Arcade Cripple Creek Trail and the Mitchell Village housing development.

“It is evident that we have made remarkable strides towards a brighter future,” Schaefer said in concluding remarks. “Our community’s resourcefulness, care, and unwavering dedication to progress have made all the difference.”

City Manager Ash Feeney continued the address by discussing the city’s finances, noting for the first time in the city’s history, $2 million from the city’s general fund will be going towards street repairs during the 2023-24 fiscal year, with $4 million expected the next fiscal year, and each year afterward for the foreseeable future.

Feeney also praised city staff for bringing grant money to the city, including a $2.9 million grant to combat retail theft.

“Our team has been winning at the grant game,” said Feeney. “I’m really proud of their work on this front.”

The city’s website has a page dedicated to the State of the City event, which includes recorded video of the address and a link to a “Year in Review” flyer.

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