City Express

ESC construction: A view from the ground up


If you haven’t driven or strolled down L Street between 5th and 7th lately, this is the new view taking shape. The Macy’s men’s store and the north section of 515 L Street is being demolished. This week a temporary soil shoring wall on the south side of the site along L Street is going up. Debris is being sorted and hauled off for recycling and one of the largest excavators on the West Coast can be seen in action.  Time to see the arena site up close via these photos taken by the City of Sacramento.


As evident by the sorted piles of debris within the mall rotunda, being inside the structure is an odd experience. Pedestrians and shops are replaced by tidy piles of leftover demolition material, the majority of which are being recycled and to be used in the new structure.

Construction will mean a few changes for motorists, bus riders and pedestrians. Please visit Traffic Alerts for details, or sign up to receive City-wide automatic alerts.

For more information on the arena construction, please visit the King’s construction webpage Make sure to sign up for email updates to stay up to date.


Never a dry or dull moment for City’s irrigation team


What happens when a citizen calls the City to report that the City is possibly wasting water at a park?  One of our irrigation team checks it out. Could be the call was prompted because a repair is needed or could be we are actually testing an irrigation system or we are watering on non-water days when there are fewer people using the park.  Either way, our small but capable irrigation team responds as soon as possible.


Parks has five irrigation technicians to respond to all calls about watering taking place in any of our 220 parks. We take the drought very seriously, but malfunctions do occur when you consider 258 irrigation clocks and some 29,000 irrigation valves and 500,000 sprinkler heads that can fail despite preventative maintenance. We try to send a staff member over within two hours of getting the call.


The City does its best to water its parks, medians, and cemeteries according to the City’s watering schedules. However, we also know that some City property’s prime use is nights and weekends, so we may have to flex the days we water. With the exception of high use sports fields, the Parks and Rec department has been reducing water use sometimes by as much as 33 percent per month over last year’s data.

Of course, there are times when sprinkler timers may be set incorrectly or as we have discovered recently, power outages may reset the timer to water on incorrect days or times. Another situation where you may see water running at an unusual time is when repairs and tests of the irrigation system need to be made. If you’re not sure if City property is being watered efficiently,  please call 311 or email and we will investigate.

Rest assured  that the Parks and Recreation Department is committed to do its part to conserve water during this serious drought. Gold is the new green.

Water conservation outreach hits home, reaches far and wide


A City of Sacramento Department of Utilities water inspector helps a neighbor convert her front lawn to a drought tolerant landscape.

It’s all sinking in. The Spare Our Water website address on billboards and buses, water-saving tips on the City’s webpage, multiple public meetings, thousands of calls to 311 about water wasters along with daily news media coverage are sending a clear message about the drought. The messages are changing behavior as business and residential accounts have cut water use by 22 percent during the hot month of July.

Enforcing watering days by encouraging citizens to report water waste as well as lawn signs calling out that “Gold is the new green,” even captured national news media attention on the City’s efforts to drive home the drought.

The City’s Media and Communications Team’s efforts were recently picked up and recognized by local and national networks including CBS, NBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera America and the Wall Street Journal.

Gold is the new green

“Gold is the new green” signs illustrate the City of Sacramento’s aim to conserve water resources, even at its own facilities.

Members of the City’s Media and Communications team hope to continue their efforts in promoting conservation.

A Quick Guide to the 2014 Farm-to-Fork Celebration

Original published on Visit Sacramento’s blog.


It’s time to plan your trip to Sacramento for the second annual Farm-to-Fork Celebration as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital doubles down on last year’s wildly popular events.

The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau is once again hosting several marquee events to highlight the region’s farm-to-fork fare, and from the Legends of Wine tasting event at the California State Capitol to the free Farm-to-Fork Festival, September promises to be full of fun foodie activities.

Head over to Visit Sacramento’s Quick Guide to the 2014 Farm-to-Fork Celebration!




Sacramento Utilities provides Big Trucks for Baby Fish


Over the last six years, the Water Forum  has partnered with the Bureau of Reclamation, the City and County of Sacramento and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to provide 140 thousand square feet of spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead trout and Chinook salmon in the lower American River. The project began earlier this month to create a habitat for salmon to swim upstream to the hatchery – below the Nimbus Dam.


“The Water Forum is pleased to continue this partnership with the City of Sacramento, County of Sacramento, Bureau, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Native and threatened fish like salmon and steelhead trout need gravel or small round river rocks for spawning,” said Tom Gohring, Executive Director of the Water Forum.

Using river-friendly front-end loaders, bulldozers and other heavy equipment, City Utilities equipment operators excavate a channel along the river and add gravel to the main river channel to create a spawning habitat. For weeks, many motorists and those enjoying recreation in the area west of the Nimbus Dam and Hazel Avenue, may have noticed the construction.  The gravel and channel helps the fish construct nests, assists in survival of eggs, and provides a habitat for the offspring to thrive along the American River.

This Project is one of many to help meet the requirements of the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Section 3406 (b)(13), to restore and replenish spawning gravel and rearing habitat.

Sports Basement to buy downtown Sacramento building, open store next year

This article originally published by Ryan Lillis on The Sacramento Bee.
Published: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 – 1:05 pm

The city of Sacramento has reached a deal to buy a key downtown building and then immediately sell the property to Bay Area retailer Sports Basement, finishing a three-year effort to bring the store to the central city.

The $5.4 million deal requires City Council approval, and the council is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting on Tuesday.

The city has been in negotiations since last month to buy the property at 730 I St. from Sacramento County. The county had owned the 70,000-square-foot building since 1996 and had agreed in 2011 to sell the parcel to Sports Basement before that deal fell apart.

According to a city staff report, Sports Basement plans to spend $5.5 million renovating the building, which stands roughly two blocks from the site of a new sports arena under construction at Downtown Plaza.

Sports Basement plans to hire 60 permanent employees at the store and open up by the summer of 2015, according to city documents. The chain operates six stores in the Bay Area.

General Plan update open houses scheduled this September

11th and K


Three open houses will take place in September to provide an overview and answer questions regarding the 2035 General Plan update. City planners will  provide information on the five key changes to the plan, which can be found on the project website.  Community members are encouraged to attend a meeting that’s most convenient.

September 3

Pannell Community Center

2450 Meadowview Road

5:30 p.m.

September 4

New City Hall

915 I Street

5:30 p.m.

September 8

South Natomas Community Center

2921 Truxel Road

5:30 p.m.

Can’t attend or want more info? Shoot us an


City, Kings and arena construction contractor to hold open house


An open house is scheduled for the community to learn more about the two-year construction of the downtown Entertainment and Sports Center (ESC) project. The public is encouraged to attend  to learn more about businesses open, downtown development near the site, the building design,  parking and any construction-related traffic impacts.

Monday, Aug.  25

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

660 J Street, Suite 360

Parking is available at the nearby Downtown Plaza Central and Downtown Plaza West garages.

RSVP for the event here. Learn more about the ESC construction project.

Which image speaks Sacramento? Pick your top #mysacramento photo


Sacramento, you’ve made us proud. After receiving an overwhelming amount of photos — more than 4,000 #mysacramento tags on Instagram and Twitter combined to be exact — we’ve narrowed them down to the top 15.  Now it’s your turn to decide which photo speaks Sacramento.

The top vote-getter will receive four free tickets to the Sacramento Zoo.

We welcome you to continue to document your experiences in Sacramento using #mysacramento so we can really showcase how great Sacramento is!

You’ve got one week to cast your vote. The poll closes August 26.

Relics out. Reliability in.


City Manager John Shirey joined Department of Utilities Director Dave Brent and Utilities staff on a tour of the on-going work at the Sacramento River Water Treatment Plant.

As part of our continued commitment to update aging infrastructure, City Manager Shirey wanted to see the progress, up close and in person. While only a year in, the results are dramatic.

The Sacramento River Water Treatment Plant was originally built in 1923. Work began in July 2013 to begin rehabilitating the oldest parts of the facility to help ensure that it can meet its designed capacity. The $170 million dollar project will take another two years to complete and will help to ensure reliable water supply for Sacramento residents and businesses for years to come.


As part of the tour, the group walked through the entire water treatment process, including an in depth look at the construction of the new sedimentation basin, filter gallery and pump station.

More information about the work at the Sacramento River Water Treatment Plant can be found at


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