Mayor sees a bright future
There's good news in city
Last updated 1/31/2020 at 9:53pm | View PDF
Each year at the Shafter Chamber of Commerce Community Service Awards Banquet, the State of the City Address is given. This speech gives highlights of the previous year and tells of the projects that the city has planned and the progress that it has made. The address was given by Shafter Mayor Gilbert Alvarado, and is presented here:
Good evening. Congratulations to all who are being honored tonight. Because of you and all the good people of Shafter, the state of our city is strong!
Each year at this time, we look back and remember some of the highlights of the year and look forward to exciting things to come. As a city, we focus on our core responsibilities of economic development, public safety and education. There have been exciting developments in each of these areas.
We have been blessed over the years to have major companies choose to invest in Shafter. Thankfully that continues to be true. Last year at this time, Walmart had just started construction on a major cold storage facility. This spring they will be filling 400 new jobs. The facility will be running at full speed by the end of the year.
In addition, plans have been submitted for a new Wonderful Industrial Park office and training campus. It will be located at the corner of Seventh Standard Road and Zachary Avenue. This project will include 110,000 square feet of Wonderful Company corporate offices and a 37,000 square feet vocational training center. When it is complete, the project will include a restaurant and other amenities. The training center will be used by various Wonderful Company business units as well as tenants within the Industrial Park, allowing companies and employees to meet the changing skills necessary in today's evolving work environment.
In housing, Gossamer Grove continues to build out. There are more than 600 occupied homes in the development today and another 200 under construction. There will be over 3,000 homes in Gossamer Grove when it is complete.
This has also been a year of growth at the Police Department. The city has hired eight police officers since this summer, with two more in process. The City Council approved the addition of a new canine team to the department. The team should complete basic training by the end of March. We are grateful to our police officers for keeping us safe.
Finally, education. In Shafter, we invest in the future of our people. I am pleased to report two major new developments in education. Last year, I mentioned our partnership with Bakersfield College to bring college classes to Shafter. That work continues, and we are giving it another boost this year. The City Council approved funding a new $250 book scholarship for all Shafter High students who graduate with 2.5 GPA or higher and take a BC class in Shafter. We want to remove obstacles to college and also encourage our young people to consider putting down roots here in Shafter and help us build the community.
The other big news in education is our partnership with GAF to expand the Shafter Learning Center and Library. GAF is investing in our community with this expansion, which will create new opportunities for students and create an exciting new public gathering space.
Shafter continues to grow and prosper. We are one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. And as we see in the awards tonight, we have many generous, hardworking people. I am confident in the future of Shafter, and I look forward to another great year.