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6th Ward Achievements

by admin on 15th-October-2015
Council member Rikke Van Johnson

Council member Rikke Van Johnson

For the last 12 years I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve the residents of the 6th Ward in the City of San Bernardino. I just want to share some of the achievements that have transpired over the course of my three terms.

The completion of the Palm Avenue Bridge, a $23.7 million project, included improvements to Palm Avenue, Industrial Parkway and Institution Road. The bridge eliminated the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train crossing, decreased traffic, air pollution and increased safety. This was the second bridge to be built in the 6th Ward in five years.

The State Street Bridge opened to motorists in August 2008. The project cost for the State Street Bridge was $28 million. Both projects, which total almost $52 million in investments in the 6th Ward, would help decrease an estimated 13 tons of carbon monoxide emissions generated every year from drivers that would have been idling behind passing trains at each intersection. These projects were good for the community and good for the environment.

I introduced the branding of the Historic Route 66 as it winds its way through the 1st and 6th Ward. This was done by changing the development code to include language to display the Route 66 emblem on all new businesses that open along the Route. Hillwood Investment Properties, a Perot Company, creatively utilized this branding opportunity during the development of the Cajon Business Center as the Route 66 logo is prominently featured on the buildings as well as on the sidewalks.

The Cajon Business Center became home to two Fortune 500 Companies, Hewlett-Packard and FedEx. Just down the road in the 6th Ward, Hillwood developed the InterChange Business Center which consists of five green buildings with LEED Silver certification. Michelin Tire and Dollar Tree, two other Fortune 500 Companies, located there.

Smucker’s, another Fortune 500 Company, located a new business on Industrial Parkway. These five Fortune 500 companies along with other businesses that located in the business centers brought over 2600 new jobs into the 6th Ward. Anita’s Mexican Foods, a long time Westside staple, relocated to the InterChange Business Center. This move enabled them to expand their business to reach annual sales exceeding $45 million.

In the heart of the 6th Ward on the corners of Baseline Street and Mt Vernon Avenue exist four vibrant businesses, an Auto Zone, Walgreens, McDonalds and an expanded Amapola’s Restaurant, all top earning businesses in their existing chains. At the West Side Plaza on the corner of Baseline Street and Medical Center Drive there exist many successful stores including the recently opened O’Reilly Auto Parts and the soon to be opened Waba Grill.

On the corner of Highland Avenue and Medical Center Drive is the best senior complex in the City, the Magnolia at Highland Senior Apartment Complex. In the complex are 80 affordable senior apartment units on 2.4 acres that include lush landscaping, pool and spa area, outdoor fireplaces, barbecue grills, a walking path and multiple seating venues.

At Anne Shirrells Park a splash pad was added to help children cool off in the heat of the summer. A community center will be built at the park early in 2016. At Nicholson Park a fruit tree orchard has been planted.

The completion of the I-210 freeway through San Bernardino introduced a new western gateway to the City and the first interchange into the 6th Ward, the University Parkway (State Street) interchange.

I partnered with 1st Ward Council Member Virginia Marquez to present the Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program which recognizes active Armed Services men and women. There are over 40 banners proudly displayed in our City with nine more to be introduced in November.

I created the Citizen of the Month Program to recognize those residents who volunteer and invest their time and talent to make a positive impact in the community.

These two programs have instilled a sense of pride and unity throughout our City of San Bernardino.

It has been said that one of the greatest things in this world is the opportunity to be of service to others. I thank the residents of the 6th Ward for allowing me to be a Servant Leader in the City of San Bernardino.

Category: Point of View.
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