Local

Budget Hearings Wrap Up

Monday, June 21, 2010

Council Members agreed with the Mayors plan to take two hundred thousand dollars from the Measure C Transportation tax to pay the electric bill to keep 10 thousand street lights on.

They also agreed to find $200,000 from unknown sources, to make pay for cosmetic improvements in the Tower District. Those were pushed by Council Member Blong Xiong.

"The main part is right off Wishon and Olive where they are going to do some new street landscaping."

The council refused to restore nearly 30 thousand dollars in funds to help organize and screen volunteer school crossing guards.

The costs of the program had been shared between the City, the County and Fresno Unified. But the program had been dropped by the local volunteer agency "HandsOn" after 30 years.

Michael O'Hare recently left HandsOn and formed "Safe2School, " in hopes of taking over the crossing guard program. But hasn't found any funding sources.

"Right now I don't think there's anybody. That's what's scary about it." He said.

O'Hare thinks the issue has been lost in the shuffle.

But Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin believes her volunteer initiative, called "ServeFresno" can help.

"I think ServeFresno is ripe to provide volunteer capacity to fill in for some of the funding that may have been available in the past for the City. " She said.

In other action, the Council voted to provide the Fresno Historical Society with a token, one thousand dollars...to tide them over until things get better.

The council is expected to adopt a budget on Friday. Then it goes to the Mayor, and work on balancing it will continue through the summer.

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Tags:
fresno, budget cuts, larry westerlund, local, gene haagenson
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