Inland Empire voters approve incorporation of Riverside County’s 28th city

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Inland Empire voters have approved the incorporation of Riverside County’s 28th city.

Seven communities including Mira Loma, Belltown and Sunnyslope will merge under the banner of Jurupa Valley. The 44-square-mile area borders Mira Loma to the east and Norco to the south. Jurupa Valley’s population of about 85,000 will rank it among the Inland region’s 15 largest cities.

Cityhood proponents emphasized the need for self-determination in a rapidly growing region that placed Jurupa Valley communities at risk of annexation by other cities. Opponents said that the area was doing just fine under the county’s leadership, and that it was a mistake to incorporate in the midst of recession.

Riverside County will continue to provide police, fire and most municipal services until the startup city becomes fully established. Jurupa Valley officially materializes in July, with a four-and-a-half million dollar annual budget and a five-member city council.