Mayor Jerry Dyer speaks at the State of the City event Thursday evening at Chukchansi Park.

published on May 13, 2022 - 11:05 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The theme for Mayor Jerry Dyer’s State of the City address was “One Fresno” — and it included news about a proposed trolley service for nightlife hotspots as well as successes from the last year.

At the event Thursday evening at Chukchansi Park, Dyer said the trolley would run north from the South Stadium area of downtown making stops in the Tower District, Fresno City College up to Campus Pointe near Fresno State. He anticipates making the proposal for two trolleys to the city council this summer, with anticipated opening in the latter part of 2023 if approved.

That announcement sets off what has definitely been a time of transition for the community since the beginning of the pandemic. Dyer touched on the rocket trajectory of Fresno’s housing market, as well as concerns that Fresno residents are being priced out of their homes. He painted a bleak picture of the community’s appearance prior to his “Beautify Fresno” cleanup campaign, which has led to 600,000 pounds of trash being removed from the streets.

“We lost our curb appeal and sense of community pride,” Dyer said. “It had become our new normal.”

Another effort, “Project Offramp,” removed 650 homeless from Fresno freeway, with more than 80% of them accepting shelter and services, Dyer said.

Another economic success was Southwest Airlines starting operations out of Fresno Yosemite International Airport. In the year since the long-coveted carrier has operated in the market, it has become the highest performing of its newest launch markets, Dyer said.

Also in the pipeline is the Midtown Trail Project linking Manchester Center with Fresno Yosemite International Airport, as well as more than 50 acres of new park space.

Dyer also handed out awards to community members who are making a difference. Recipients include H. Spees, city director of homeless initiatives; Michael Cruz, owner of Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co.; Richard Burrell of Live Again Fresno; Dynan Walker, owner of King Osiris Photography LLC; Bruce Mitchell with the City of Fresno maintenance special projects team; and Tom Sommers, director of the Christian Business Men’s Connection.

Paul Binion, pastor of Westside Church of God, received the key to the city.

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