Mayor Young Delivers His 3rd State of the City Address

Conor McGill, Sports Chief

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Hughson Mayor Jeramy Young addressed his fellow constituents for the third time in his term as Mayor of the City of Hughson this past Monday, at Hughson Samaritan Village.

 

With the mission statement being “Improving Hughson every day through fiscal responsibility, customer-focused service and an emphasis on creating and strengthening partnerships,” Mayor Young discussed a variety of topics ranging from fiscal responsibility to partnerships held within the city.

 

Young opened his address recognizing all those in attendance, as well as special guests Modesto Mayor, Ted Brandvold, Riverbank Mayor, Richard O’Brien, Stanislaus County Sheriff, Jeff Dirkse, Stanislaus County Supervisor, Vito Chiesa, Hughson Unified District Superintendent, Brenda Smith, Modesto City Council Member, Douglas Ridenour, Former Hughson Mayor, Matt Beekman, HUSD Board Members, Jim Hudelson and Cindy Cunningham-Gipp, and representatives from the offices of Josh Harder and Heath Flora.

 

After recognizing those in attendance, Young proceeded with a breakdown of the Hughson property tax distribution which was broken up in six different categories. 55% Schools, 15% ERAF, 13% County, 6.8% Redevelopment Agencies, 6.4% Cities and 3.9% Special Districts.

 

Following the breakdown, he then addressed the troubling debt facing the city and layout the fiscal responsibility of the city.

 

Total Debt Detail:

Water Tank Loan (2006): Balance: $1,206,155 (Principal), $181,625 (Interest), Annual Payment w/ Interest: $173,472 Thru 2026, Interest Rate: 3.4%

 

WWTP Expansion Project (2008): Balance $4,021,278 (Principal), $756,042 (Interest), Annual Payment w/ Interest: $477,732 Thru 2028, Interest: 3.4%

 

WWTP Expansion Project (2012): Balance: $13,406,433 (Principal), $841,588 (Interest), Annual Payment w/ Interest: $1,258,138 Thru 2030, Interest 1.0%

 

He then followed up with Hughson resident’s average consumer water and sewer costs.

Water Costs: Overall: $53, O & M: $30, Debt Services: $8, Asset Replacement: $8, Future Debt Services: $7

 

Sewer Costs: Overall: $95, Debt Service: $46, O & M: $32, Asset Replacement: $12, Contingency $5

 

Sewer rates for Hughson are some of the highest in Stanislaus County but have remained so to help lower the debt costs of the city.

 

He then presented one of the city’s current initiatives with local business start-ups. Using an office building next to city hall as a space for five companies: Holtzclaw Compliance Services (Incubated), Bella Viva Orchards (In Progress), Hughson Real Estate (In Progress), Elite Medical Solutions (In Progress), MD Services Medical Credentialing (Wait List), the hall has become known as the “business incubator.”

 

Following the cities initiative to help startups out, he marked new businesses which have come to Hughson which included Slick Fork BBQ, Don’t Panic, It’s Organic, Miss Potts Attic, Soapy Bubbles Car Wash, and Pure Esthetics Spa by Cheri.

 

The mayor also prioritized infrastructure recently completing the Second Street Sidewalk Infill, Well 7 Replacement (In Process) & Lebright Fields Modernization (Next Project).

 

Young stated that to keep the small town vibe, that he couldn’t do it by himself, but “that if there is development, it is consistent with our culture, with our design standards, and that if they are

not then we say no. We will not develop at all costs, only if it’s right for our community.”

After mentioning infrastructure projects, Young mentioned the importance of helping the Hughson Fire Department. He addressed needs such as replacement of existing bays, increasing dispatching costs, staffing/training, and equipment replacement. He also spoke about Measure U a Parcel Tax to help the Fire Department. The city of Hughson voted on this topic in the 2018 November elections, but the results were 51.93% Yes, and the measure needed a 66.67 approval to pass.

 

After addressing public safety, Young then went into the partnerships that have been made and forged in the community such as the Hughson Unified School District, Hughson Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaus County, United Samaritans, Sierra Vista, Hughson Fire Department, and Samaritan Village.

 

Young closed his address by recognizing groups and organizations who have had an impact on the community. Those groups and organizations included Hughson American Legion, Hughson Youth Baseball/Softball, Hughson Lions Club, and Hughson High Academic Decathlon.

 

Mayor Young ended his address expressing his thankfulness for the community by mentioning how proud and optimistic he was for the present and future of the City of Hughson.

 

“I just want to continue with the fiscal responsibility and make sure that we don’t grow too fast, but that we grow enough to be healthy. I want to make sure we try to increase jobs in town so people can work and live in the same town.” Young said,  “Those are some of the big things, keep an eye on the fire department; make sure they have the funding they need to provide services.