Last year was a good year for the city of Merced, and this year is looking to be as good, or better.
Our economy is healthy, our residents are getting good jobs and more and more businesses are finding that not only is Merced a “City on the Rise,” but our time is now.
I want to invite everyone to the Second Annual State of the City on Friday at the Merced Theatre to hear a report card on last year and a preview of what’s coming up in 2018.
As a town of 84,464, we have different politics and philosophies, but we all share a common vision of Merced being the leader in the Valley in job opportunities, quality affordable housing, good roads and a high quality of life. We have a lot going on in Merced that will make that vision a reality and you can hear about it during the State of the City.
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The UC Merced 2020 Project – a $1.3 billion campus expansion that doubles the size of the university – is providing jobs during construction and will continue employing residents after it’s built. We have Measure V funding and SB 1 money coming in to fix potholes and build roads.
The El Capitan Hotel renovation project will turn our downtown landmark into a boutique hotel, and the Mainzer Theatre is scheduled for remodeling to become a premiere entertainment center. Once empty subdivisions are now seeing new life and construction will begin this year on the first phase of a new shopping center at Mission Avenue and Highway 99.
We surveyed residents and you told us the No. 1 issue is homelessness, and we supported teams working with the homeless to get them off the streets and into housing, programs and jobs. To maintain and improve the city’s quality of life, we have teams of city employees cleaning up neighborhoods and alleyways. To enhance the quality of life, we are working to create an arts commission to bring more beauty to our great town.
But we don’t have to wait for the commission. People are already making Merced a better place. One woman launched a campaign to put a public art project in downtown, and hundreds of people got involved. A Merced business decided a planter in downtown needed some TLC, so it donated the flowers, planted them and now maintains the planter.
Our greatest asset are the people who make Merced their home. At the State of the City, we will offer people an opportunity to get more involved and take pride in their city, just like those folks I mentioned. This will offer neighbors a chance to give back to their neighborhoods or redouble their current efforts.
We’re excited about Friday’s program because it will show any doubters that Merced is a “City on the Rise.” We believe in Merced and we want it to continue thriving for future generations.
Come to the State of the City to learn more and share in our vision for the future.
Following the State of the City address, the Merced City Council will host a series of town hall meetings during February to hear from residents. Our first town will be at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center on Feb. 13. The second will be at Tenaya Middle School, Feb. 26, and the third will be at Rivera Middle School on Feb. 27. All town hall meetings will begin at 6 pm.
Mike Murphy is mayor of Merced. He wrote this for the Merced Sun-Star.
State of the City
- When: Friday, Feb. 9; doors open 10:30 a.m., event from 11 a.m. to noon
- Where: Merced Theatre, 301 W. Main St.
- Who: Mayor Mike Murphy and Merced City Council.
- RSVP: Go to the Chamber of Commerce website (mercedchamber.com) or call 209-384-7092.
- Online: A video will be posted at www.CityofMerced.org or on Facebook at The Streets of Merced.