Fresno City Hall photo by Breanna Hardy
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Fresno City Council approved what is the largest budget ever for the City of Fresno.
In a 7-0 vote, the $1.9 billion spending plan addresses issues including road maintenance, parks, housing and money for the biggest police and fire departments in Fresno history.
One of the biggest additions to the budgets is $108.6 million dedicated to parks.
This means money for new land acquisition, maintenance and upgrades for existing parks, new lighting, soccer fields and baseballs fields, said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
The Mayor’s One Fresno Housing Strategy received $40 million on top of an existing $20 million budget.
Councilmembers approved increasing the number of police officers to 888 — the largest ever officer increase for the city. The number of fire fighters also increased to 371 — the largest increase for firefighters ever for the city.
That means 103 firefighters working each day, said Dyer, up from 81 two years ago.
Also in the budget was money toward creating a medical squad that could respond to health crises that would have otherwise drawn firefighters and heavy equipment away from fires.
The city allocated $10 million to building a new 911 call center, which Dyer hopes to supplement with state funding. The previous one was built in 1959, he said.
For road and sidewalk repair, councilmembers earmarked a budget of $60 million. Councilmembers will also each get a fund of $1.5 million for their districts for specifics infrastructure projects.
The budget also creates a 10% reserve fund.
Council president Nelson Esparza said the largest budget in Fresno history “hits all the right notes.”
“This shows the unity that when we come together it reflects the values of every resident in Fresno,” Esparza said.