Mayor Bob Taylor

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor

The City of Brentwood’s key, two-year goals and projects are now set.

City leaders recently approved a strategic plan laying out future objectives, addressing various community aspects, including infrastructure, public safety, economic development and land-use planning.

A handful of the targets include: increased police staffing; refined business-attraction programs; a wastewater treatment plant expansion project; added recreational amenities; and an updated housing analysis report.

The plans were hashed out during a public workshop last year and are now assembled in a council-approved plan.

“Throughout the workshop, the city council discussed, reviewed and provided staff with additional direction on various initiatives,” said Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall.

An estimated $96.87 million has been set aside for the objectives, although the bulk of the funds will be derived from restricted-use sources: a state loan to fund a wastewater treatment plant expansion project, for example, and developer-paid fees to offset future project impacts, and community-facility district funds charged to certain city areas, primarily to finance police services.

The plan’s costliest endeavor is a $70.1 million wastewater treatment plant expansion project expected to accommodate the city’s future service demands.

A State Water Resource Control Board loan will cover the project’s cost. The low 1.3% interest rate loan will be repaid over 30 years using development impact fees and wastewater enterprise fund monies generated through user charges.

On the public safety front, the plan calls for the police department to hire five additional officers and two additional dispatchers.

The additional sworn officers — upping the allocated number to 71 — will allow the department to break the city into five coverage areas, rather than four. This will increase the number of available officers and improve response times. A minimum of five officers and a sergeant (an increase from the current four officers and a sergeant) will be on duty at all times. The changes could be implemented in September or October, said Police Chief Tom Hansen.

“It’s time,” Hansen said. “Our city is growing, and I think it is imperative I implement a fifth beat into the City of Brentwood to increase visibility and to initiate more effective crime-fighting strategies.”

Hansen noted that he’ll also soon implement the use of a force simulator inside the police department to enhance officer training. The tool was purchased using grant funds.

Another police endeavor calls for the addition of a substation in the northern part of the city.

“Our police department is on the extreme south of the city, which is always a concern,” Hansen said. “I would like to free that up and have access to our north, on the west side of the railroad tracks, in the event we have a catastrophe, so we can have our units on both the north and south ends.”

The city’s recreation offerings are also scheduled to increase, with additions including a disc golf course and expanded pickleball hours at Creekside Park; continued development of the city’s trail network; and increased public access to Sunset Park Athletic Complex’s trails, restrooms and picnic areas. The complex’s fields will continue to be available only for rent.

“It’s a great opportunity for the public to use that park,” said Brentwood Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Mulder. “I don’t think people are aware of that beautiful park we have, because if you are not playing on an adult softball team or you don’t have kids on soccer or baseball teams, you are not necessarily going there.”

Other park and recreation-driven efforts include a continued emphasis on adding shade to parks; plans to add restrooms to Garin and Creekside parks; and attempts to increase recreational offerings for the disabled.

Meanwhile, a number of economic development initiatives are also included in the plan.

For starters, the city will work to develop business-attracting programs and policies to aid in eventual job and revenue generation.

Additional projects include: updating both the downtown and Brentwood Boulevard-specific plans that outline those areas’ futures and implementing new tax-increment financing tools to enhance the downtown.

Among other initiatives, city officials also intend to update its mandated general plan housing element that aims to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community; develop an information technology master plan to ensure the city is meeting its technology infrastructure and security needs; and launch a local government internship program.

“We want the students to develop on-the-job skills in a very professional work environment,” said Sukari Beshears, human resources director. “This is also an opportunity for us to build partnerships with schools, colleges and universities.”

To view the complete plan, visit bit.ly/2veJ0jl.

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