Documenter: Olivia Muñoz
Here’s what you should know
Fresno COG will administer $2,137,815 in Measure “C” funds in 2021-22 for ADA/Seniors/Paratransit ($689,336), Agriculture Vanpool ($506,095) and Rideshare ($506,095) and administration/planning ($436,289).
Fresno COG staff is planning to release four Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) scenarios for public review and comment on Aug. 25.
New staff of the Fresno COG were introduced: Pankaj Joshi and Jake Martinez to work on Measure C.
Greg Barfield, City of Fresno‐FAX
Tina Sumner, Fresno Cycling Club
Mohammad Khorsand, County of Fresno
Mohammad Alimi, County of Fresno
Moses Stites, Fresno County Rural Transit Agency
Marilu Morales, City of Reedley
Issac Moreno, City of Selma
Michael Osborne, City of Mendota
Mike Prandini, Building Industry Association
Debbie Hunsaker, Fresno Chamber
Tony Boren, Fresno COG
Bill Delo, IBI Group
Braden Duran, Associate Regional Planner
Jennifer Soliz, Associate Regional Planner
Meg Prince, Senior Regional Planner
Tony Boren, executive director
Peggy Arnest, Senior Regional Planner
Les Beshears, Finance Director
Todd Sobrado, Marketing/Planning Coordinator, Fresno Area Express (FAX)
Jeaneen Cervantes, Office Administrator
Kai Han, Senior Regional Planner
Brenda Veenendaal, Administrative Services Manager, Public Information Officer
Kristine Cai, Deputy Director
Santosh Bhattarai, Associate Regional Planner
Toni Graham, Accounting Manager
This meeting was held on Friday, July 9, 2021, via a hybrid gathering. Some council members were in person at the Council of Governments offices in Fresno and others were on Zoom. There were no members of the public in person, only on Zoom. Instructions on the agenda posted online gave instructions for joining via Zoom or by phone, with directions for public comment. The meeting started at 8:31am. There were 39 total attendees logged in to the video call, most committee members or Fresno COG staff. The meeting was recorded. The screen was shared and followed the agenda posted on the agency’s website.
The meeting started with approval of “consent items.” The Consent Agenda was explained during the meeting as items “considered to be routine and non-controversial by COG staff and will be approved by one motion if no member of the Committee or public wishes to comment or ask questions.” No one had public comment and or further discussion on any of the following.
Approval of the Executive Minutes of June 11, 2021
Approval of 2021-22 Measure C Claims: Fresno COG will administer $2,137,815 in Measure C funds in 2021-22 for ADA/Seniors/Paratransit ($689,336), Agriculture Vanpool ($506,095) and Rideshare ($506,095) and administration/planning ($436,289).
Approval of Transportation Development Act (TDA) Claims for the 2021-22 fiscal year:
City of Kingsburg’s claims totaling $636,431.
City of Selma claims totaling $1,191,764.
City of Huron claims totaling $360,164.
City of Kerman claims totaling $784,175.
County of Fresno claims totaling $7,699,255.
Informational: Upcoming Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Improvement Program/Surface Transportation Block Grant Application Workshop
Fresno COG staff will host a call-for-projects workshop virtually via Zoom from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 15, 2021. The workshop aims to answer questions applicants may have about CMAQ and STBG program applications. Fresno COG staff will review nuances, cover technical details such as how to calculate emissions reductions or cost-benefit ratios, as well as the call-for-projects process. Guidelines and application packet are available through the respective program websites:
For further information on CMAQ, contact Braden Duran at 559-233-4148 ext. 217 or email@example.com. For further information on STBG, contact Jennifer Soliz at 559-233-4148 ext. 223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Informational: Circuit Planner and Engineer Program End-of-Year Summary Report
Rincon Consultants prepared an end-of-the-year summary report for work completed in 2020-2021 of the Circuit Planner and Engineer Progra, which provides technical assistance to the small cities in Fresno County for efforts that further Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy goals. The contract with Rincon has been extended into 2021-2022.
Informational: Obligational Authority and Project Delivery Update
Each year the Fresno region must meet targets for federal funding streams and comply with “use it or lose it” provisions, which give local jurisdictions three years to obligate Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) and Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funds. The target for 2020-21 was $22,123,092, and as of May 31, $11,806,688 or 53.4 percent of federal CMAQ and STBG funding has been obligated. A quarterly report reflects the 2020-21 programmed projects. The federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30. The deadline for local agencies to submit applications for federal projects this fiscal year is July 23, 2021. Fresno COG encourages all agencies to continue submitting their requests for authorization as soon as possible to get in the queue for available funds. If projects do not receive authorization approval, they will be delayed until October 2022. Contact Jennifer Soliz at 559-233-4148 ext. 223 or email@example.com with questions.
Informational: REAP Housing Survey for the San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) Committee is asking city and county staff to complete a short online survey to illustrate their community’s needs related to housing trends, barriers, and best practices in the Valley. Staff is hoping to understand successes and impediments, and what assistance would be most helpful for specific communities. The deadline for the survey is July 27 and it can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJVREAP1
For more information contact Rick Rust at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Informational: California Prohousing Designation Program
Local leaders can find out more about the Prohousing Designation Program in a virtual webinar. The state Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) established the program alongside other state agencies in response to calls for addressing the housing crisis. Jurisdictions that adopt local policies to facilitate housing planning, approval, and construction beyond state law can apply to receive the prohousing designation. The session is from 3-4 p.m. on July 29, 2021. To learn more or to request technical assistance, please email ProhousingPolicies@hcd.ca.gov.
Committee chairman Greg Barfield, of the City of Fresno-FAX, called for a vote on the Consent Agenda. Moses Stites of the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency moved to approve all of the items on the Consent Agenda and Mohammad Khorsand of the County of Fresno seconded. The consent items were passed unanimously.
Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy
Fresno COG staff and related committees recommend that TTC and the Policy Advisory Committee accept the following as part of their Regional Transportation Plan: accessibility to destinations as an Environmental Justice indicator; setting the low-income threshold at 150% of the federal poverty rate. This analysis evaluates transportation investments to determine if environmental justice communities within Fresno County equitably benefit without bearing a disproportionate share of the burdens. Federal guidance requires consideration of minority and low-income populations. There was a call for public comment and for any committee member questions, but there were none.
Vote: Khorsand moved to approve the two indicators and Issac Moreno of the City of Selma seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Draft Regional Transportation Plan Outline
Staff recommend the Policy Board approve the draft of the 2022 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) outline. The outline was presented and circulated in May 2021 for comments. Staff received two formal comment letters: one from the Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability and another from the Sequoia Riverlands Trust. Please contact Jennifer Soliz at email@example.com or Meg Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. There was a call for public comment and for any committee member questions, but there were none. This was moved to approval by Tina Sumner of the Fresno Cycling Club and was approved unanimously.
Sustainable Communities Strategy Scenarios Community Engagement – Informational
Administrative Services Manager and Public Information Officer Brenda Veenendaal shared on the agenda that Fresno COG staff is planning to release four Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) scenarios for public review and comment on Aug. 25. Strategies currently being discussed include the following: in-person workshops throughout the county; virtual workshops held via Zoom and posted live on Facebook and YouTube; online and printed surveys; and focus groups among others. This community engagement period will run through Sept. 22, 2021.
Fresno-Madera State Route 41 and Avenue 9 Sustainable Corridors Study
Staff requested the committee and Policy Board accept the final draft of the Fresno-Madera State Route 41 and Avenue 9 Sustainable Corridors Study, presented in the meeting by consultant Bill Delo of IGI Group, now that public comment has been incorporated. Fresno COG, in partnership with Madera County Transportation Commission (MCTC), conducted a study to determine State Route 41’s future transportation needs in the City of Fresno as well as the southern segment in Madera County. In addition, the study analyzed future transportation needs along the Avenue 9 corridor in Madera County between SR 41 and SR 99. This project began in July 2020 and recommends sustainable improvements to address residents’ transportation needs in both counties for issues such as: mobility, access, safety, and connectivity to different modes of travel at places such as colleges, hospitals, and employment centers. Each appropriate agency would have to institute the recommended improvements.
During the public comment period, Sumner praised Associate Regional Planner Braden Duran for successfully leading the committee. Scott Mozier of the Fresno Public Works department asked if there would be and lane expansions? Delo said, No, and that the recommendations focused on interchanges on SR 41. Duran explained that it was where there are “chokepoints.”
Khorsad pointed out a typo within the study (it said SR 98 instead of SR 99 on one instance). Additionally, he said that he personally uses Ave 9 and asked why is going from a two-lane to four-lane road a longtime goal rather than more short term? Braden responded that they were taking into consideration several issues with expanding, and that any items can be moved up at any time. Khorsad added a request to improve and expand Avenue 9, including adding a shoulder.
Madeline Harris, policy advocate with the Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability, asked for changes that were submitted to the study with the goal of helping marginalized communities. Recommendations included accounting for population growth; that any additional funds be redirected to other clean projects; and to address inequities such how rural communities of color are left unaddressed while officials cater to new residential markets. The public comment time closed.
Vote: Stites moved to accept the report and Sumner seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
Reverse Triangle Transportation Area Plan (RTTAP) Final Report
Staff requests that TTC recommend that the Policy Board accept the RTTAP final report. The study was done with a Caltrans grant to study industrial growth impacts in the area formerly known as the “Reverse Triangle.” The study area is bounded by SR 41 to the west, SR 99 to the east, Church Avenue to the north and Adams Avenue to the south. The study area is a disadvantaged and low-income community, according to CalEviroScreen and AB 1550.
Researchers found that community members there faced challenges such as: increases in pollution, congestion and safety issues associated with increased truck traffic and limited transit service, lack of safe routes to school, etc. Four outreach workshops gathered input and feedback. The project team proposed a comprehensive package of strategies to address current and potential issues.
Vote: Khorsad moved to accept the report and Mozier seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Fresno Council of Governments 2021-22 Overall Work Program Amendment No. 1
Staff recommended approval of the amendment which increases the budget $575,000, primarily through new grant sources.
Vote: Stites proposed approving the amendment and Ryan Burnett with the City of Clovis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Fresno COG Quadrennial Federal Certification Review – Informational
The Fresno COG was recertified for four more years.
New Staff – Informational
New hires Pankaj Joshi and Jake Martinez were introduced. Joshi is an associate regional planner and Martinez is an assistant planner to working on the Measure C team.
Three was no additional public comment. Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.