A dual purpose soccer field, new Farmer’s Market as well as the completion on the Feather River Levee Project are all on the horizon for Live Oak.
Over 70 citizens made their way to the Live Oak Community Center on April 4 to hear the State of the City address given by City Council and Staff. The meeting, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, is now likely to be an annual event.
City Manager Jim Goodwin kicked off the festivities by letting the concerned citizens know that Live Oak currently has a budget surplus and the gap between spending and saving has left the city with a 30 percent capital reserve so while other cities may be filing for bankruptcy, Live Oak is far from in the red.
Many would wonder how so many projects are underway with a budget surplus both this year and expected for next year. The answer, Goodwin explained is in the use of over $5.8 million in grant funds and proper planning.
Having been with the city over 4 years, Goodwin explained the planning process as being a vital part of the success of the city. Discussing the previous year’s accomplishments and next year’s goals allows the Council and staff to develop a plan and put it into action. The State of the City address has been added to update before the mid-year review.
“Where is the development and investment?” Liz Powell, a Live Oak citizen and a local real estate agent wanted to know. She was interested in where future development would occur within the city during the intermission.
Other citizens were concerned about the intended investments to help move businesses to Live Oak, citing their concern for the survival of existing local “Mom and Pop” businesses.
Goodwin explained that developing the infrastructure of Live Oak would encourage new businesses and help the existing ones to expand. He noted that while Live Oak is a small town, it is not one to be overlooked and bringing new businesses would bring jobs. Councilmember, Diane Hodges, shared the excitement of this prospect saying that she could remember a time when everything you needed could be found within the city and that buying locally would improve the city overall.
Following Goodwin’s power point production, each council member was able to share their biggest excitements for the future of the city, and citizens were able to express their concerns and ask questions before the meeting concluded.
Councilmember, Lakvir Ghag, summed up the entirety of the meeting during his portion by noting that “Live Oak is moving forward in the worst recession since the Great Depression.”
Each member of City Staff and Council implored citizens to take advantage of the open door policy by calling or e-mailing City Hall with any questions, concerns or praise. City Council meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. and citizens are welcome to attend.