What's at stake?
The federal funding will support local governments and community organizations that work directly on transportation, water, and community needs.
From sidewalk repairs to water infrastructure and tiny homes, federal dollars are earmarked for a number of central San Joaquin Valley projects.
California senators and congressional representatives from the Central Valley secured tens of millions of dollars as part of the proposed bipartisan fiscal year 2023 Appropriations Omnibus package. This federal bill lays out $1.7 trillion in long-term budget allocations for 2023.
“I am proud to have secured funding for projects in the Central Valley to address homelessness and the housing crisis, upgrade water infrastructure, and improve public transit options,” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat from California, in a statement on Tuesday.
“This funding will support local governments and community organizations that work to directly benefit our neighborhoods.”
The bill passed in the Senate on Thursday and in the House of Representatives on Friday as reported by C-SPAN, and is headed to the president to be signed into law.
In addition to the omnibus allocations, on Thursday, the Department of the Interior announced over $84 million in funds to support 36 drought resiliency projects throughout the West as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. A number of these projects are located in the Central Valley.
Which local Fresno, Central Valley projects will benefit?
A number of transportation projects in the metropolitan Fresno area and beyond stand to benefit from the federal funds.
Padilla and U.S. Rep. Jim Costa, D- Fresno, secured $4 million from the Department of Transportation Highway Infrastructure Program for the Calwa Complete Streets Project. With an emphasis on ADA compliance in the Fresno County community, this project will include improvements to streets and sidewalks, such as pedestrian facilities to improve community health and encourage alternative transportation.
Costa also secured $4.4 million from the Department of Transportation for a runway reconstruction project at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, plus another $3.7 million for the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) fleet replacement project. Separately, Costa secured a $25 million federal grant through the Department of Transportation to upgrade approximately 4 miles of the Madera 41 South Expressway from a 2-lane rural to a 4-lane highway.
Larger investments in the northern San Joaquin Valley regions include $7 million for the second phase of the Stanislaus Council of Government’s State Route 132 West, a project which will purchase right-of-way to improve transportation and goods movement in the Central Valley. Funds were requested by U.S. Representative John Harder, a Democrat who represents the North San Joaquin Valley, and Padilla from the Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, the Kings County Area Public Transit Agency’s new regional multi-modal transit center will receive $5 million to help with construction costs. The request made by U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein of California, Padilla, and U.S. Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, who represents California’s 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County as well as portions of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare counties. Due to redistricting, he will represent the 22nd district in the new year, which includes parts of Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties.
Padilla also secured $2.1 million for the Kings County city of Hanford’s Intercity Rail Station Community Safety and Accessibility Enhancement Project.
Another $1 million will be used for street repaving in the Fresno County community of Tranquility. The funding, which was requested by Padilla through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency, will support reconstructing roads, constructing and repairing sidewalks, and adding bike lanes.
Beyond transportation, a number of community-based projects stand to benefit from federal investments.
Valadao requested nearly $7 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development projects in Kern and the Fresno county communities of Caruthers and Huron.
In the southern Valley, Padilla and Feinstein requested another $2.5 million from the Department of Health and Human Services will support the construction of a healthcare vocation center at West Kern Community College District/Taft College to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in the Central Valley.
Padilla and Costa also secured $1 million from HUD to help fund the city of Fresno’s tiny home project. In October, the Fresno City Council unanimously approved $850,000 to build 24 tiny homes. Valadao, Feinstein, and Padilla also requested $1.5 million from HUD to construct an emergency homeless shelter in the city of Tulare.
The Fresno-based Reading and Beyond, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, and The Fresno Center are among some of the other local projects that will receive funding through the omnibus bill.
A complete list of all requested funds from Valley representatives and additional projects, is available here.
Federal dollars to support Central Valley water infrastructure
Also benefiting from the omnibus funds are Central Valley water wells and infrastructure projects, primarily in Stanislaus and Tulare counties.
“As California and the Central Valley face a historic drought, I am continuing to fight for federal investment to protect and improve our clean water supply,” Padilla said.
Central Valley projects slated to receive funds include:
- $3.45 million for Stanislaus County’s Crows Landing water wells project to replace the nitrate treatment equipment at Well 295 to deliver safe drinking water to the disadvantaged community of Grayson. Padilla and Harder requested the funds from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- $1.75 million for the City of Modesto’s Grayson well and tank replacement.This funding will support the replacement of nitrate treatment equipment to improve the safety of drinking water for Grayson residents. Funds were requested by Feinstein and Padilla from the EPA.
- $1.5 million for a new well in the City of Dinuba in Tulare County.The funding, which was requested by Padilla from the EPA, will be used to help fund the construction of a new water well.
- $1.15 million for a new well in Woodville, Tulare County.Funds will support a new water well in the rural community of Woodville. Funds were requested by Feinstein and Padilla from the EPA.
- $500,000 for City of Tulare’s water delivery system.Funds will be used to support construction of a water delivery system to the northern sector of the city. Funds were requested by Feinstein and Padilla from the EPA.
Over $6 million of funding from the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, requested by Feinstein and Padilla, has been allocated for the San Joaquin Valley Drought Relief for Wildlife refuges, to benefit Central Valley wildlife refuges and wetlands.
Other water projects set to benefit for the Omnibus budget bill include$750,000 for the San Joaquin Valley Water Collaborative Action Program, a committee of university, community, and water district representatives that works to protect the Valley’s water supply. The funds were requested by Feinstein and Padilla from the DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation.
Then, Feinstein and Padilla secured $200,000 from the EPA for drinking water “kiosks” in Tulare County. Padilla, Feinstein, and Costa also secured $200,000 for Redbank and Fancher Creeks from the US Army Corps to study the feasibility of a re-operation of Big Dry Creek Reservoir, a dam in Fresno County.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the DOI announced over $84 million in funds to support 36 drought resiliency projects throughout the West as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“This investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in locally-led projects will help solidify community’s water supplies and allow families and farmers to respond to the challenges posed by drought,” Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said in a press release Thursday. A number of these projects are located in the Central Valley, and include:
- $5 million for the Cawelo Water District located in Kern County for a reuse produced water project
- $2.4 million for the Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District’s Turnipseed Water Bank Phase VI
- $2 million for the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District for drought recovery wells and conjunctive use modeling tool
- $2 million for the Fresno Irrigation District’s Carter-Bybee recharge basin project
- $2 million for the Pixley Irrigation District’s Phase I – Lateral #4 expansion project
- $460,891 for the Porterville Irrigation District’s northwest service area conjunctive use groundwater recharge project