Holtville kicked off the Carrot Festival celebration with the annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Friday night. This event was held at the I.V. Swiss Club and was well attended by the citizens and civic leaders of Holtville.
Mayor David Bradshaw gave his “State of the City” address in which he touched on many of the city’s efforts of 2010 and plans for 2011. Mayor Bradshaw praised the City staff for their efforts during the Easter earthquake and spoke of council’s relief that the new water tank was still able to be certified following the earthquake.
Some of the highlights for 2010 that he mentioned included the Parks and Recreation grant that is being used for the Alamo Park Project. Another grant for 1.2 million dollars was received to work on roads in the city, a project that started in 2009 and was completed in 2010. The city received $600,000 of Regional Transportation funds that were used to work on the 4th Street & Hwy 115 project. The city also has funds in the amount of $50,000 each for business entities who would like to improve the physical appearance of their business or take out a business loan.
In 2011 the City hopes to be able to make improvements on the sewer plans and do work on the north side of the Orchard Road bridge. They have property for sale or rent, and would like to work in conjunction with the Chamber to encourage new business growth.
Mayor Bradshaw also touched on the loss of RDA funding from the state, which will reduce the city budget by 13%, and made note of the fact that the city’s financial stability could be at risk due to the state cutbacks. He also stated that the proposal of a reduction or removal of the city utility tax could reduce the city budget by approximately 20%, which would create a cut in city services such as police and fire.
According to Mayor Bradshaw, this year’s slogan is a very appropriate one…”We Can Do It!” He simply added one final word…”Together!”
Following the “State of the City” address, the late Pastor Mike Johnson was remembered for his dedication to the city of Holtville by being named Holtville Citizen of the Year for 2010. His award was accepted by his wife Rosie who stated that “although it was a great honor to accept the award on behalf of Mike, the greatest honor was to be his wife.” Mike’s sister Nancy Turner also spoke on Mike’s behalf, and a standing ovation was given in Mike’s honor.
Another highlight of the evening was the coronation of this year’s Junior Princess, Princess, and Carrot Queen. Holtville’s newest Junior Princess is Annie Britschgi. She will serve alongside the new Princess, Autumn Bisi. The city will be represented this year by Trudy Gaddis as the 2011 Carrot Queen.
This year’s banquet served as the “kick-off” for a great week events in our great city.