Fresno city councilmembers promise infrastructure investment in disadvantaged communities

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Fresno City Councilmembers Luis Chavez, Nelson Esparza, and Miguel Arias announced in south Fresno Wednesday details of an investment in Fresno’s most disadvantaged communities over the next five years.

The council members say Fresno will be getting an unprecedented amount of revenue due to historic levels of city taxes, Measure P, and federal aid following the pandemic.

“The message that we’re trying to send today is that south Fresno will be forgotten no more,” said Council President Chavez.

The announcement was made near Greenberg Elementary School, flanked by a repaving project on Lane Ave. Arias, Chavez, and Esparza announced a five-year nearly quarter-billion-dollar infrastructure plan to help Fresno’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. This comes on the tail end of Mayor Dyer’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal last week.

The mayor said the next budget will focus heavily on revitalization projects, but Councilmember Arias says a plan for the next several years needs to be set now.

“This historic investment in some of our neighborhoods demands a Marshall Plan level of rebuilding for our city,” Arias said. “Simply a status quo budget is not going to cut it.”

Arias says in the coming week he plans to bring forward a proposal to use federal COVID-19 aid to incentivize new housing projects on empty lots in the city. At wednesday’s news conference, the council members said there have been decades of deferred maintenance throughout the city totaling about $1 billion. Chavez says he and his colleagues want these projects to finally be taken care of, and also create local jobs.  

“We don’t want this to just be an expenditure,” Chavez said. “We want to really turn this into a career pathway for a lot of our young folks.”

City Council budget hearings are set to run June 14 through June 16, with the 2022 budget set to be adopted before June 30.

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