“We were disappointed the ballot did not pass,” said Dennis Luppens, the city’s special district administrator. “The revenue from the proposed Open Space District would have provided funds to build projects that are on the shelf ready to go located in Canyon Country, as well as expanding the Activity Center.” He said the city will look for other funding sources but none are on the horizon. Among those projects is designing the 32-acre Whites Canyon Park, though no money is available to build it. In January, the new $7 million Community Center opened in Newhall, replacing a cramped rented warehouse facility that serves 1,600 members. In the spring, the $29 million energy efficient Transit Maintenance facility off Copperhill Drive will open. On Feb. 11, the city dedicated a teen memorial, which remembers young drivers killed in traffic crashes. Several road and trail projects are in the works for 2006. Trails are being sought to get residents off the road and walking or bike-riding to work. About $7 million has been earmarked for street improvements, and the Bouquet Canyon Road and Sierra Highway bridge widening projects are due to be finished. Construction on the next phase of the Cross Valley Connector, from Interstate 5 to Copper Hill Drive, will begin. Pedestrians and bicyclists are looking forward to the start of phase two of the Sand Canyon and Canyon View/Santa Clara River trails and the Lost Canyon River Park trailhead. Some long-term issues that were piggybacked onto the 2005 calendar from years past could carry over into 2006 and beyond. “We will continue to work on the cleanup of Whittaker-Bermite and will be working closely with congressmen and senators to advance our goal of preventing the mega-mining project in Soledad Canyon,” Striplin said. The fate of the contaminated 996-acre Whittaker-Bermite property in the center of the city seems closer to resolution and the city’s fight against the mine continues on several fronts. For her part, Mayor Laurene Weste is toting her rosy outlook from 2005 into the future. “We’re looking to have a very healthy and invigorating year with lots of public input as we move forward on many beautiful projects, and actively addressing issues before the community,” she said. “I will be strongly working on things that make our family community more rich and desirable to live in and enjoy.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Eighteen-year-old Santa Clarita, home of Magic Mountain, had a “tremendously successful” year in 2005, said Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin. Photo by David Crane / Staff Photographer AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Road improvements included the $31 million Golden Valley Interchange, the bridge that spans Soledad Canyon Road, and the opening of Golden Valley Road at Sierra Highway. Golden Valley, a piece of a planned 8.5-mile expressway now offers the city’s east side new access to the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program was launched to improve some older areas in the downtown Newhall area and parts of Canyon Country through proactive code enforcement. On Nov. 22, the Santa Clarita City Council adopted a comprehensive plan to renovate 50 blocks in the downtown Newhall area over the next decade. The $1 million spent on creating the plan will be supplemented by another $7 million in actual improvements. Among the many successful outcomes, one initiative failed. The city’s proposed $25-a-year special assessment to fund park and open space purchases was defeated by property owners. The measure fell short of the simple majority needed to pass, with 40 percent of voters in favor and 60 percent percent opposed. About two-thirds of property owners did not vote. If the measure had passed, it could have generated about $1.46 million a year to buy, maintain and develop park land and open space. The money could have been leveraged to generate tens of millions in additional funds. The city is in its 18th year and ready to take on adulthood as officials strive to maintain Santa Clarita’s strong financial footing as they invest in new civic projects, road improvements and the redevelopment of downtown Newhall. Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin said the new year will follow one that was “tremendously successful” in terms of realizing goals. “We completed about $300 million in capital projects,” he said. “Looking back over the 18 years I think incorporation has been a tremendous success. I think because the city is here, it has continued to grow in a positive manner and maintain a very high quality of life for the community.” Some highlights from 2005 were the completion of Valencia Heritage Park and the Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall, the groundbreaking for the teen memorial in Central Park and completion of the $2 million sewer project in Placerita Canyon, for which the city partnered with The Master’s College.