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Flood Clean-Up and Repair Work Schedule

A Preliminary Flood Clean-Up and Repair Work Schedule has been developed in response to the storms experienced May 25.  This initial assessment and corresponding work schedule includes work identified for street repairs and debris removal, drainage facility repairs and cleaning, repairs to alleys, and repairs to park facilities.  The Schedule will be updated daily to reflect additional identified and requested work.

The Flood Damage Assessment and Repair Schedule now is available for public access and review on the City’s website here.

This work schedule will provide residents an opportunity to see when Public Works, Solid Waste, Parks & Recreation, and other City crews will be mobilizing in affected areas to repair damages caused by the flood event.

City crews have been redirected from normal operations to focus on addressing damages caused by the flood event to ensure quick responses to all service requests.

San Antonio residents who discover new flood damage in and around their neighborhoods should continue to report the damage to the City by calling 3-1-1.

The Mayor and County Judge have signed a Disaster Declaration asking the State and Federal Government to provide the resources to repair our damaged infrastructure as well as provide assistance to those residents who experienced flood damage to their homes.  Staff is continuing to track and assemble all costs associated with our response and repair.

San Antonio Police Department Update

San Antonio has seen a decrease in crime throughout the city from Jan 1, 2012 to May 2 , 2013.

  • Overall, total violent crime has seen a decrease by 10.2%
  • Property Crimes have seen a decrease of 16%
  • Capital murder has decreased 59%

Pursuit Policy: The Department has recently completed a comprehensive review of their rules and procedure governing vehicle pursuits and emergency vehicle operations.  Based on feedback from SAPD personnel and an expert consultant, these regulations have been updated to reflect the latest research on best practices.

SWAT: The SAPD SWAT Team has also recently competed in the Central Texas CERT (Correctional Emergency Response Team) Challenge. The CERT Challenge is a tactical skills competition event open to all law enforcement, corrections, and military.  The SAPD team won four of five events, including an individual CERT Elite competition.

South Side Lions Park Wi-Fi

Citizens are now able to use free Wi-Fi at South Side Lions Park. Wi-Fi is now available inside the community center and nearby playground and in the playground and pavilion area on the lake off Pecan Valley Drive.

This important initiative, spearheaded by District 3 Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna who first announced it in February, gives youngsters living in the area the opportunity to bring their laptops and other electronic devices to the Wi-Fi hot spots and connect to the Internet to complete homework, check college Blackboards for assignments, and connect with friends and family via social media. Citizens who want to research and apply for jobs and enjoy other on-line pastimes benefit from it as well.

The initiative also complements free Wi-Fi service offered at the Woodlawn Lake Park Community Room, which opened in December. There, citizens may also bring their laptops and electronic devices to access the Internet in the community room located adjacent to Woodlawn Gymnasium.

Providing Wi-Fi is another of the many ways that the City of San Antonio seeks to be responsive and instep with the needs of citizens who utilize technology to provide better lives for themselves and their families.

Alamodome Economic Impact Study

In conjunction with the capital improvement budget in 2007, the Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Department conducted a study of the economic impact of the Alamodome that covered a five year period from 2003 – 2007. This period was chosen since 2003 was the first year after the Spurs left the Alamodome.  Recently, we asked economist Dr. Steve Niven, with the Saber Research Institute, to update this report to cover the ten-year period from 2003 through 2012.  Below are some key highlights from the report showing the economic impact of the Alamodome over the last ten years:

  • Overall economic impact – $1,719,846,985
  • Supported 18,337 full-time equivalent jobs (1,833/yr)
    • Earnings to workers of $572,007,629 (includes benefits)
  • Economic impact to state and local government – $114,193,411
  • Economic impact to federal government – $116,172,683
  • Average daily spending per out-of-town visitor – $257.80

Through its ability to host numerous events and activities, it is clear the Alamodome registered a substantial impact from 2003 through 2012 – over $1.7 billion.

This year also marks a significant milestone for the Alamodome, as it celebrates its 20th Anniversary.  To commemorate this, we will host a celebration at the Alamodome at the end of May.

Convention & Visitors Bureau Update

San Antonio Convention Visitors Bureau reached a significant milestone as the new VisitSanAntonio.com was officially launched to the public as part of the weeklong National Travel and Tourism Week Celebration that occurred last week May 4th – May 12th.

San Antonio is both a national and international destination welcoming 28 million visitors annually.  San Antonio is the number one leisure destination in the State helping to position Texas as the 3rd most visited State in the U.S.

Visitors have an annual economic impact of $12 Billion and VisitSanAntonio.com is a powerful tool utilized in marketing San Antonio.

This effort comes as a result of the San Antonio Convention Visitors Bureau partnership with Proof Advertising, who led the overall effort & showcased their skill-set in: Tourism, Digital Media, Web Development, Social Media and Project Management.

Initial reactions by our stakeholders are very positive as San Antonio proves to be at the cutting edge with technology and social media trends. SACVB launched to 100 stakeholders and media last week – some of the feedback included that the new website made stakeholders very proud of how it represented the City, and that they would be using it in their own itinerary planning.

This is a new innovative approach that will continue to place San Antonio in a leadership position amongst leisure and convention destinations.

Office of Historic Preservation – Preservation Month 2013

May is National Preservation Month, and the Office of Historic Preservation has hosted several educational events to encourage San Antonio to “See, Save, Celebrate!” our city’s historic resources.

The State of Preservation Announcement and Preservation Month Kick-off Event was held on Tuesday, April 30, at Mission Concepcion.

The third annual Amazing Preservation Race took place on Friday, May 10, with nearly 100 people participating in a downtown urban scavenger hunt combining trivia and San Antonio history.   Participants (in teams of four) used clues to find historic destinations throughout downtown while racing to the finish line at La Villita.

The Go! Historic SA Guided Tour of HemisFair Park and La Villita took volunteer tour guides took groups of runners and walkers to historic sites throughout HemisFair Park and La Villita, promoting historic preservation and physical fitness.

Additional upcoming activities for Preservation Month include the Amazing Preservation Race for Kids on Saturday, May 18, in partnership with the San Antonio Conservation Society and Villa Finale.

This free scavenger hunt for elementary age children will teach participants about the history of the King William neighborhood and the basics of architecture and preservation while encouraging physical activity.

The Center City Open House showcasing the Melrose Building at W. Commerce St. will take place on Tuesday, May 28.  Hosted by the Center City Development Office, the Office of Historic Preservation, and the Department for Culture and Creative Development, this unique networking opportunity will showcase an underutilized space and encourage investment in San Antonio’s vacant historic buildings.

These events help to promote the importance of historic preservation and the significance of protecting our pride of place, our sense of community, and the rich history and culture of San Antonio.

Riverwalk Lighting Retrofits

As a part of the Municipal Facility Retrofit Program, the Office of Sustainability is performing lighting upgrades at 15 facilities, 3 downtown parks, and throughout the Riverwalk.

The Office of Sustainability has completed over 200 lighting efficiency projects.  The Aggregate energy savings from all lighting retrofits thus far is $500,000 and 6.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.  This is equivalent to the energy used by 470 homes in San Antonio.

The project initiated in late April and will complete in July.  The Riverwalk work commenced this week and is proceeding as planned.  In total, the project will cost $1 Million and will save the City $170,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs.  The work is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

3,200 lighting fixtures will be replaced, cutting energy consumption 55% per fixture, while improving the quality of light.  Further, the new fixtures will add to the visual appeal of the Riverwalk in the heart of our City.  This project complements over 200 lighting efficiency projects completed by Office of Sustainability in 2011 and 2012 and is a step toward my ultimate goal of maximizing the energy efficiency of all City facilities.

We will keep you apprised of our efforts under the Municipal Facility Retrofit Program as we continue to make the City of San Antonio a national leader in sustainability.

VITA Program Results

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, better known as the VITA program, recently wrapped up another successful year of tax preparation.  VITA is an IRS-sponsored program, which provides free tax preparation services to individuals or families earning less than $55,000 in annual household income.

The program has over forty years of success in San Antonio, thanks to the Alamo City Coalition for Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS).

By partnering with more than 30 organizations including the City of San Antonio, the IRS, Catholic Charities, United Way, financial institutions, businesses, and local colleges, ACCESS ensures that our community can take advantage of this important service.

This year, from January 30 through April 15, the coalition managed 24 VITA sites across Bexar County. The City’s Department of Human Services operated 18 of those sites and one mobile team. Due to a nationwide delay from the IRS, VITA sites opened two weeks later than originally scheduled.

The most recent data from IRS reported that local VITA sites served 30,313 taxpayers, returning more than $56 million to the San Antonio economy, including more than $22 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, nearly $10 million in Child Tax Credits, and saving taxpayers an estimated $7.5 million in tax preparation fees. These numbers will rise slightly as last-minute returns and paper returns are processed by the Internal Revenue Service.

Finally, VITA efforts will continue year-round at the Neighborhood Place VITA office in order to complete prior year and amended returns. Taxpayers can call 431-7541 to make an appointment.

Pre-K 4 SA Seeking Public Input on Curriculum

The City of San Antonio is seeking public input on the classroom curriculum being considered for the Pre-K 4 SA program’s Education Centers. Curriculum proposals were sought from vendors from across the country and a team of professionals are reviewing the proposals. Part of the review process includes public input.

Public input matters! Interested members of the public will get an opportunity to see the teachers’ manuals, student books, and materials used in the classroom. The public will be asked to score the curriculum and provide feedback, which will be incorporated in the final curriculum recommendation made to the Pre-K 4 SA Curriculum Review Committee and Board of Directors.

“We firmly believe that hiring effective teachers that have a passion for teaching, along with finding a strong curriculum, will make Pre-K 4 SA an exciting place for our children to learn and grow academically,” said Elaine Mendoza, chair of the Pre-K 4 SA Board.

Public display of the curriculum will take place on Monday, April 15 and Tuesday, April 16, 2013 from 4 – 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Central Library, 600 Soledad, San Antonio, Texas 78205.  Free parking will be made available to participants.

Strong Response to Pre-K 4 SA Hiring Efforts Continues

Early childhood educators continue to be excited about joining the Pre-K 4 SA team and being part of an innovative initiative that strives to improve early childhood education throughout the City.

To date, 2,789 applications have been received from individuals inside and outside the state, including more than 2,200 from San Antonio.  Applications are still being accepted for the master teacher and teacher assistant positions, with initial interviews beginning later this month.

The City is hiring for a variety of positions, including master teachers, teacher assistants, and professional and administrative staff.  Interested applicants may access information about each position and apply at www.sanantonio.gov/hr/jobs/Pre-K4SA_Jobs.asp.