The economic climate of the past six years has not held the city back from its aggressive Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which continues to enhance the quality of life for Lancaster residents. In all, 89 CIP projects are fully funded through sources such as Measure R grants and specialty funds. Parris pointed out that these projects do not touch the General Fund in any way. By utilizing city crews to do the rehabilitation projects, the city is producing 40 percent more output than if the work was outsourced. In fact, many of these projects are currently six weeks ahead of schedule, and being completed for 60 percent less in costs.
Parris concluded his address by recapping the many accomplishments Lancaster has achieved in the alternative energy arena. Expecting to realize 50 percent of peak load by June of this year, the city is well on its way to Net-Zero status. Parris credited careful planning and thoughtful risk taking for both the business successes and worldwide media attention generated from “green” industry interests. Partners such as KB Home and SunPower, who are responsible for the new Zero House 2.0, are helping Lancaster’s goals come to fruition with their bold innovations.
“The city is literally paving the way to a sustainable future,” Parris said. “Our once small desert town is now a thriving metropolis, standing on the cusp of unfathomable stardom.”