CARPINTERIA, Calif. -

The Carpinteria annual report card has city officials looking at several hotel proposals and a low unemployment rate.

That's a positive sign as part of a slow climb up from the recession years.

City Manager Dave Durflinger said the city has four hotel proposals in the works, and several other businesses that have opened or will soon be opening.  Among the hotels are a Fairfield Inn and a Hampton Inn planned for a site on Via Real north of Santa Monica Road.

A county  economic report from First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal showed unemployment in Carpinteria at 3.3 percent.  Countywide it was 6.7 percent.  Carbajal said many local projects including the Franklin Trail, and upgrades to Santa Claus Lane are collaborations between the county and local residents.

For now, Carbajal said he has no new information about the planned renovations at the Miramar Hotel site in Montecito nearby, which could create more job opportunities for Carpinteria residents.

Mayor Brad Stein proudly work a Carpinteria baseball polo shirt during his presentation and said more people across the country are aware of the small town and its attractive reputation as one of the last California small coastal communities.

Stein said a rectangular strip of land near the railroad tracks off Linden Ave. will soon be the focus of a public meeting to decide what the city should do there.

Carpinteria is also working to connect a trail from Linden Ave. out beyond the bluffs at Bailard Ave.

Water district Manager Charles Hamilton told the morning breakfast meeting at the Rincon Beach Club, supplies should hold steady through the summer if residents continue to conserve.  He had them stand up with their hands shaking in the air, trying to get rain showers to develop.

Commuters over the last year have been watching a major freeway widening project in Carpinteria that extends through the Rincon.  A third lane is being added, along with improvements for bike riders.

In the future, another widening project between Carpinteria and Montecito is planned, that will also include bridge replacements for the small town.