Documented by Ntsa Iab Vang

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Reedley City Council met on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, to discuss and approve temporarily placing a moratorium on the establishment of any new uses concerning warehousing and or laboratories within the city. The council approved this item in response to the controversy over an illegal bio-lab discovery earlier this year.
  • The council moved forward the discussion of the murals intended for the Reedley Museum building. Council member Scott Friesen suggested the design be approved with minor changes, but others on the council requested further discussion. 
  • A Reedley resident urged the Police Department to take better action with burglary reports as safety concerns arise.

Follow-up questions

  • Will community members have a say in the final mural design?
  • When will the temporary moratorium on laboratories be lifted?


Matthew Tuttle, mayor pro tem

Scott Friesen, council member 

Anita Betancourt, mayor 

Suzanne Byers, council member 

Mary Fast, council member 


  • Introduction of new police, fire officers
    • Chief Joe Garza introduced Officer Marisela Delgado, who began training in April.
    • The Fire Chief Jerald Isaak introduced new Fire Lt Hudson, a former fire explorer.
  • Donation of a fire pumper to Valley Regional Occupation Program

Public Comments

  • A Reedley resident expressed safety concerns, reporting that her home and vehicles have been burglarized.


  • Consent Agenda (Item 3-8), considered routine, was approved.
  • Item 9: Adopt an urgency ordinance of the Reedley City Council temporarily placing a moratorium on the establishment of any new uses concerning warehousing and or laboratories with Biosafety Levels (BSL) 2 through 4 within the city. (Community Development)
    • Agriculture, development and hospital labs are exempt because they are regulated by state and federal law.

Vote: Motion was approved with all in favor.

  • Item 10: Consideration of items pertaining to the design and placement of a mural on the south-facing and east-facing walls of the Reedley Museum building, located at 1752 10th St. (Community Development)
    • A. Adopt an environmental assessment finding no possibility of a significant effect, and declaring that the activity is not subject to CEQA.
    • B. Approve a sign permit application for the design and placement of murals on the south-facing wall and east-facing wall of the Reedley Museum Building, located at 1752 10th St.
    • The murals will be designed in appreciation of the rail and agricultural history of Reedley, and one design will be approximately 154 square feet in size. Murals will be fully funded through the Community Development department. The original design was requested by the museum.
  • Frieson made a motion to approve the mural with minor changes. The motion was denied 1-4.
  • Tuttle made a motion to continue the discussion of the final design, which was unanimously approved.


  • Presentation and information pertaining to Central Valley salinity alternatives for long-term sustainability (CV-SALTS)
    • CV-SALTS is collaboration of businesses, government and community members to provide safe drinking water in the Central Valley for long-term sustainability.

Council Reports

  • Tuttle reported attending the “Right to Life” event in Tulare.
  • Betancourt reported attending the Boys & Girls Club opening.
  • Byers mentioned that Reedley was featured on TV and invited the community’s seniors to Sierra View Homes’ event of Senior Prom Night.

The meeting adjourned at 8:32 pm. 

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...