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Projects Announced In Competition For Fresno's $70 Million Cap-And-Trade Fund

The City of Fresno is getting a closer look at the projects hoping to get a slice of $70 million in cap-and-trade money that the state has set aside for the area. A meeting Wednesday meeting is one of the final steps before the city submits its plans to the state. 

The potential projects seeking funding are wide-ranging, from a 15-story apartment building on Fulton Street to electric car chargers, and a new park in Chinatown. All of the proposed developments are either in downtown, Chinatown or Southwest Fresno. 

The funding has been set aside by lawmakers for some of the most polluted and economically disadvantaged areas in California through a program called Transformative Climate Communities, starting in Fresno. Eligible projects would need to provide matching funding to augment any awards from the TCC program.

Local activists, the city, and residents have been working for months to identify projects that could meet the program’s goals of increasing access to public transportation, multi-use housing, and offset the effects of climate change.

Credit Fresno Housing Authority
One of the proposed projects is a 15-story mixed use building on the corner of Fulton and Tuolumne in downtown Fresno. It is being advanced by the Fresno Housing Authority, which currently owns the parking lot on the site.

Elliott Balch with the Central Valley Community Foundation, which is helping spearhead the planning, says they are trying to whittle down their options from the more than 60 ideas submitted.

“And work together in groups to come up with an ideal package of projects. Plans for how this money would be spent in the neighborhoods of downtown, Chinatown, and Southwest Fresno,” says Balch.

Wednesday’s project selection meeting is at the Westside Church of God and is open to the public.

However, actual voting is reserved for residents who have been involved with the proposal from the beginning. The plan will then go to the Fresno City Council, and then on to Sacramento for final approval.

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio.