The Reedley City Council took steps to solidify the transition of State Center Community College District's aviation programs to Reedley Municipal Airport and officials praised the city's restorative justice efforts. Image source: Google

Documented by Matthew Carnero-Macias

What happened: At its Sept. 26 meeting, the Reedley City Council took steps to solidify the transition of State Center Community College District’s (SCCCD) aviation programs to Reedley Municipal Airport.

The council approved the purchase and installation of a mobile office unit that will serve as a pilot briefing room and a budget amendment appropriating $73,318 from the Airport Enterprise Fund toward the total estimated costs of $310,964.

The council pulled the item from the consent agenda to get clarification on the project’s funding and timeline.

Reedley Community Services Director Sarah Reid said the city will be fully reimbursed for the project costs from SCCCD.

She anticipates the pilot briefing room to be fully installed in the next six weeks. The council previously approved the purchase of prefabricated restrooms for the project, which she said will be installed within six months.

“I’ve seen that their fleet of planes is already there, so at some level, they’re already meeting out there,” she said. “This will just give them the designated area to be able to do their pilot briefing and their flight plans.”

According to its website, Reedley College’s flight lab courses were previously conducted at Fresno Yosemite International Airport. A possible expansion of SCCCD’s program with Fresno Unified School District at Fresno’s Chandler Airport was also reported earlier this year.

Restorative justice efforts lauded: Reedley Police Chief Jose Garza reported to the council that the Reedley Peace Building Initiative has saved the city millions of dollars and helped curb recidivism rates, promote youth development and build community.

The initiative‘s restorative justice efforts were implemented 13 years ago by the city of Reedley, Reedley Police Department, Mennonite Central Committee and Kings Canyon Unified School District.

“This is a model program for many communities, I have to say, but I also have to say that many have tried to duplicate but none can replicate what we have done,” Garza said.

City Manager Nicole Zieba said the initiative has received statewide recognition and they recently had a meeting to discuss implementing similar efforts across Fresno County.

Other police staff presenters went on to praise the initiative and its financial, legal and cultural success. They commended the city and county for contributing to the development.

“It’s really impressive for a group as small as we’ve been to, in essence, create a new system – our own local system – to handle this stuff in Reedley, and it’s really made a big impact on a lot of our youth,“ said Marc Ediger, Reedley police operations commander.

Up next: The Reedley City Council will meet again Oct. 10.

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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...