El Centro emerged as a city with significant achievements over the past year, taking the lead in economic development and recreational activities in the county. The annual State of the City, led by Mayor Martha Singh, unfolded on November 9 at the El Centro Public Library.
The city’s growth is a testament to the resilience and forward-thinking leadership of the city council and department heads guiding the city daily.
El Centro City Manager Cedric Cesena expressed pride in the city’s workforce, stating, “The workforce of the city of El Centro goes above and beyond what they are called to do, and I’m very proud to work alongside everyone.”
Sher Cowie, President of the Imperial Regional Chamber Of Commerce, highlighted the city’s accomplishments over the past year. Cowie reported that they signed 464 certificates of origin last fiscal year and 122 so far this year. In April, they received the H.R. Champion Award from CalChamber, providing their members access to labor law compliance products throughout the year.
During the State of the City Address, Mayor Singh mentioned 40 new commercial development projects, including establishments like Roundtable Pizza, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and La Michoacan Ice Cream Parlor. Currently under construction are the Towncenter Villa Apartments with 180 units and the Jacaranda Apartments with 96 units.
Code Enforcement played a crucial role in cleaning up 50 alleys with support from public works, parks and recreation, and the police department. The city updated the garage sales ordinance to allow permits without costs.
The new police station project involves the phased demolition of the existing building, paving the way for the construction of two structures totaling 44,477 square feet. The main building, a two-story structure spanning 32,671 square feet, will house a public lobby, a community meeting/multipurpose space, and offices for administration, investigators, records, and patrol-related functions, including lockers, fitness areas, and report writing spaces.
The second building, a support structure covering 11,806 square feet, will host property and evidence facilities, k-9 units, the fingerprint laboratory, and various police support and storage functions. The upper floor is proposed to house an indoor police firearms range, depending on the overall project cost.
The project is set to commence in late November and conclude in the first quarter of 2026.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently granted the City of El Centro $4,782,000 for its “Embellece El Centro” Downtown Project through its Clean California Local Grant Program.
The Embellece (Beautify) project encompasses a food truck court in the Town Square, murals, gateway signs, curb inlet screen protectors, tamper-proof trash and recycling receptacles, new LED lights, and benches.