10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

By DARRELL R. SANTSCHI
The Press-Enterprise

HIGHLAND – This city is in good financial shape and figures to see new development and the start of construction on two major bridges in the year ahead, Highland Mayor Penny Lilburn told business leaders Tuesday.

Lilburn delivered the annual state of the community address to about 150 members of the Highland Area Chamber of Commerce at the San Manuel Village/Hampton Inn & Suites.

“There are few cities in California that are in as good a position as the city of Highland … fiscally, politically and with the future build-out opportunities that we are going to provide,” Lilburn said.

The city’s $94 million spending program for the fiscal year that began July 1 was balanced without layoffs or reductions in the level of service provided, she said. It also has sufficient reserves “set aside for economic uncertainties to help weather the remainder of the fiscal downturn.”

She said the city will be constructing a new police station early next year and will get an additional fire truck to be manned under contract with CalFire.

In the past year, she said, 15 homes in the city have received makeovers and 22 others were improved. A total of 100 homes were rehabilitated under a neighborhood improvement program.

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