Wednesday Dec 31 2008
2008 brought many changes to Loomis
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
Winds of change
In early January 2008, a powerful storm and strong winds toppled trees and left thousands of locals without power for a few days. Those winds also ushered in a year of significant changes to Loomis, reviewed here. Council acquires land, a building, new councilman In a flurry of activity, the Loomis Town Council completed projects and property purchases that will change the town. They approved and oversaw the rehabilitation of the Loomis Train Depot, bought the historic South Placer Municipal District building on Taylor Road to be used as a new town hall, and finalized the purchase and became the owner of 10.5 acres of Union Pacific Railroad land that runs from King Road to Circle Drive. While embracing change in some areas, the council also fought it when they represented concerned Loomis citizens by challenging Rocklin developments that were proposed along the Loomis border. Loomis appealed an approval of a Lowe’s development and voiced opposition over the Rocklin Crossings Wal-Mart project, which was recently approved by the Rocklin city council. Both of the projects are located on Sierra College Boulevard on either side of Interstate 80. The town council also set precedence during the past year by upholding three planning commission decisions and failing to hear appeals of those decisions made by citizens and fellow council members. The town planning commission approved the town’s first clustered housing development, approved a controversial tree plan for the Sierra de Montserrat development and voted to allow seven low-income housing units to remain on a lot that is part of an eight-lot subdivision zoned rural residential. The citizens of Loomis appeared to vote for change in the November elections when they failed to re-elect town councilman Tom Millward and made Gary Liss a new member of the council. Fire district assessment passes Loomis area citizens also voted for a change in January when they finally approved a tax assessment that would keep the Loomis Fire Protection District operating. The $173 assessment began benefiting the fire district in July. School district bond measure fails The Loomis Union School District started their year with a failed attempt to pass a $17.7 million school bond measure that would have rehabilitated two schools and built multi-purpose rooms at two other schools. Despite the disappointment, the district continued their march towards change. They worked at a gale-force pace to open an International Baccalaureate charter school in August and welcomed Ophir School as a new school district member. The district was also very involved in the completion of the 4.5-acre Franklin Community Park, located next to Franklin Elementary School on property owned by the school district. The park cost $1.45 million and was paid for by Placer County developer fees. Schools get a different kind of support The Loomis Basin Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that benefits the students of the Loomis District, also kept the school district’s goals top of mind when they held their second annual MandaRun in October and their first annual Loomis Basin Holiday Home Tour in December. The group raised thousands of dollars that will benefit the district students. Community gives to those less fortunate More than 300 volunteers gathered at the Doupnik Manufacturing warehouse in mid-December to assemble Christmas baskets for an equal number of needy area families. The Loomis Christmas Basket Program is made possible by donations of food, cash and toys by individuals and businesses from throughout the Loomis Basin.