Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rialto Selects Projects For Redevelopment Bond Funding (Press Enterprise Jan. 15, 2008)

BS Ranch Perspective

The Rialto Redevelopment Agency (Rialto City Council) has taken on a good Idea to extend Pepper Ave to Highland I-210, it will give access to Highland (I-210  Business route) and  on ramps/off ramps to the I-210 freeway that is one thing that is needed since there is currently Three accesses to Rialto from the I-210 Freeway (Alder Ave, Ayala Ave, & Riverside Ave.) All the signs on the freeway indicate that there is four off ramps to Rialto, but since Pepper was not competed there is just the three. That completion will also allow the people that live in the Eastern side of the city better easier Access to the I-210 rather then fight the traffic that the currently have to fight from Riverside Ave. to the Two Lane Road Easton Ave. and then to Sycamore Ave and beyond is very difficult and causes a great deal of Traffic problems in the morning and afternoon just from the traffic that is trying to get on the I-210 in the morning and back to their homes in the afternoon. Now It is still quicker for them to gain access on the I-210 then it was to drive all the way down Pepper Ave to I-10 and then to work from there, then it does for them to just gain access to the I -210 and get on their way, however the traffic is pretty bad and that does take them some time.

So there is a great need for the Pepper Ave extension, and  I believe that the extension will be invited once the construction starts.

BS Ranch

Rialto selects projects for redevelopment bond funding

10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

RIALTO - The city Redevelopment Agency will issue $88 million in bonds to pay for several projects, including an extension of Pepper Avenue to connect to Highway 210 and an expansion of Frisbie Park, the board decided Tuesday night.

The Rialto City Council, which doubles as the Redevelopment Agency board, whittled down a long list of proposed public improvements to several that the city could complete within three years.

The council had earlier agreed to set aside $20 million in bond funds for assorted economic development projects and $28 million for several neighborhood-revitalization projects.

At issue Tuesday was how the remaining $40 million would be allotted. The biggest chunk of the bond funds, $14.8 million, will go to the proposed Pepper Avenue link to the 210.

The Highway 210 segment through Rialto and San Bernardino opened last summer with three access points in Rialto, but the planned Pepper connection has met delays.

Pepper Avenue would have to be extended roughly one-half mile north to reach the freeway. Between its dead-end, which is in a residential neighborhood a few blocks north of Base Line, and the freeway are acres of vacant land that might be a habitat for two endangered species, the San Bernardino kangaroo rat and the Santa Ana River woolly star, a plant. Both are native to Lytle Creek, next to the freeway.

Rialto needs approval from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in order to build the Pepper extension and 210 connection.

Redevelopment Director Robb Steel said Rialto recently received a credit rating of A-minus, good news for the Redevelopment Agency as it prepares to issue the tax allocation bonds, which are paid back by a property-tax increment that comes to the agency.

Such bonds are unlike general obligation bonds, which must be approved by local voters.

Mayor Grace Vargas missed the afternoon bond workshop but attended the City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Councilman Joe Baca Jr. told Steel that he wanted $7 million of the bond funds used to develop sports fields and other amenities at Frisbie Park, and his colleagues agreed.

The council also allotted $5 million for rebuilding Fire Station 202, $4 million for expanding parking at the Metrolink Station and $4.7 million to go toward a project to widen the Riverside Avenue bridge over Interstate 10.

The Riverside Avenue bridge will be torn down later this year and rebuilt as a nine-lane road. The artery is Rialto's only connection to Interstate 10.

Fire Station 202 opened in 1963 on the northeast corner of Riverside Avenue and Easton Street, and it is now too small to accommodate some modern fire equipment. It will be rebuilt on vacant city-owned land across the street, and the current site will be sold.

The fire station is now next to the Riverside Avenue connection to Highway 210.

The Metrolink Station, which is at 261 S. Palm Ave., currently has 222 parking spaces. Initially, 154 spaces could be added, and the city eventually could build a 900-space parking structure.

Reach Mary Bender at 909-806-3056 or

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