Supervisors give update on significant programs in their districts in San Bernardino County | News

San Bernardino County’s supervisors spoke about the significant initiatives and programs that are being developed in their districts during the 2023 State of the County event on Sept. 27.

More than 1,000 local and state elected officials, business owners, tribal government leaders, educators and community leaders attended the event, which was held at the Ontario Convention Center.

• Supervisor Jesse Armendarez, whose 2nd District includes Fontana, reported on housing, homelessness and mental health services.

“I am inspired by a new 101-acre master-planned, mixed-use community in North Fontana being partially developed by Frontier Communities, a San Bernardino County-based builder,” said Armendarez. “Another inspiring new development is being delivered by Water of Life Community Church. They broke ground on a five-acre master plan to construct and operate a mixed-use project that will include wrap-around homeless services and transitional housing units. I know that San Bernardino County will continue to lead the way.”

Armendarez also provided an update on the creation of the Office of Suicide Prevention, which the Board of Supervisors approved in its Fiscal Year 2023-2024 annual budget. Recognizing that one suicide death occurs every 11 minutes in the U.S., enhancing mental health services remains a priority for Armendarez.

• Joe Baca, Jr., whose 5th District includes Bloomington, discussed park improvements, including ADA compliance updates to restrooms, splash pads, new gating and upgraded amenities. He also announced an affordable housing project coming to Bloomington.

“One of the things we found out through the strategic homeless plan is that capacity is necessary for our investment in the county,” Baca, Jr. said. “On Sept. 12, the Board of Supervisors voted to purchase some land to add an affordable housing project. Just think about the families who are on the cusp of losing their home. This affordable housing project will put a roof over their heads, restore dignity and ultimately prevent families from becoming homeless.”

Baca, Jr. also touched on improving access to healthcare in his district through a partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s mobile clinics. He is also seeking to expand Animal Care services by purchasing a mobile veterinarian clinic.

• Paul Cook said affordable housing rates and some of the best schools in the county are attracting more families to the 1st District. He is also excited about the new Brightline West high-speed rail system that will provide service from Southern California to Las Vegas, with stops in Apple Valley and Hesperia.

“This 218-mile high-speed rail project will be the first true high-speed passenger rail service in the nation,” said Cook. “It will be a game changer for our region by reducing commute times, increasing job opportunities and improving the quality of life for county residents.”

• Curt Hagman, who represents the 4th District, reported on innovations in technology, such as the county’s use of Starlink, which allows residents to connect to high-speed internet in some of the county’s most geographically remote areas.

As a commissioner for the Ontario International Airport Authority, Hagman shared noteworthy achievements such as the airport serving nearly six million passengers this year, its highest rate since 2008. Also, on March 23, the airport welcomed its 30 millionth passenger since its return to local control.

“Ontario International Airport creates $3.8 billion a year in economic activity, supporting 27,800 jobs and serving as the hub for a global logistics network that generates $17.8 billion in economic output,” Hagman said.

He also pointed out San Bernardino International Airport was experiencing growth with new passenger services to San Francisco and Las Vegas, and the airport is now home to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center. Additionally, a mixed-use development project is planned near the Toyota Arena in Ontario.

• Dawn Rowe’s presentation at the event included a demonstration of one of Garner Holt Production’s animatronic figures. In her 3rd District, Rowe said that Garner Holt has partnered with San Bernardino County schools to create Education Through Imagination and an AniMakerspace to provide young children with opportunities to learn more about STEAM education — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. She also spoke about growth and development occurring at Loma Linda University.

“Loma Linda University Health is a leader in education, research and clinical care,” Rowe said. “The California Health Facilities Financing Authority recently awarded Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital with a $135 million grant that provides funding for several major projects, including construction of a new pediatric medical office building.”

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