Fortuna updates presented at annual breakfast

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

The accomplishments of the past year and future projects were two highlights at the third annual Fortuna State of the City Breakfast held Jan. 31 at the River Lodge Conference Center.

"The city is solvent and that is expected to continue into the next fiscal year," said Fortuna Finance Director Gary Chapman. Figures presented showed the city collected 2.7 percent higher sales tax revenue during the last quarter of 2012 and during the same period, Fortuna property taxes paid were up 1 percent. Sales and property taxes are Fortuna's two main sources of revenue.

Fortuna Mayor Doug Strehl characterized the breakfast gathering as a chance for the city (of Fortuna) to shine. "It's been an interesting year," he said, "with a lot of changes" ... including the selection of a city manager. Regan Candelario has been on the job since Sept. 1, 2012.

"He has been fantastic for the town," Strehl said. Candelario was described as a team builder and as having a good relationship with city employees and the community.

Fortuna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Erin Dunn said there were two words to sum up the last year of the working relationship with the city. " 'Collaboration' is one word," and later she added, " 'Engaged' is another word."

At the breakfast, city department heads each presented information on accomplishments and future plans.

Highlights announced at the breakfast include:

-- Starting this month, there will be the capability of paying utility bills online, a process that has been seven years in the making.

-- Improvements to Rohner Park include three new bocci ball courts, new sidewalks, and thanks to a Cal Recycle grant, new wood chips to make the playground areas safer.

-- Future Parks & Recreation projects being explored include a bicycle park, disc golf course, dog park, and bocce ball tournaments.

-- Modifications to implement Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades are planned for both City Hall and the River Lodge Conference Center.

Second District Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell also spoke at the gathering and said, "What's good for Fortuna is good for Humboldt County." She complimented city and chamber representatives for a "dynamic, optimistic, hands on attitude." Fennell added, "I'll be there to help you grow your business ... I am willing to work with you and I am very excited to do that."

photo caption:

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

1. Fortuna City Manager Regan Candelario addresses the annual State of the City breakfast on Jan. 31 at the River Lodge Conference Center.

2. Business representatives, elected officials, and others interested in the activities of the city of Fortuna gathered at the State of the City breakfast recently.