Fresno · Madera · Merced

Costa pushes for Valley infrastructure upgrades, career training

Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) is pushing for several local projects – including water and sewer improvements – to receive funding from the Federal government. 

Congressional representatives submitted their Community Project Funding requests on Tuesday to the House Appropriations Committee. 

“They all have merit,” Costa told The Sun. “There were a lot of others that had merit – didn’t fit, but we’re going to work on other sources of funding. I think members of Congress know their Congressional districts better than anybody in Washington does, so to have an opportunity to provide community block grants for areas where you can make a difference that have what you believe is so important and that possibly match local or Federal or state funding.” 

Is there one project in particular that he would like to see receive funding? 

“No,” Costa said. “That would be like trying to pick your favorite child.”

Here’s a look at the 10 projects that Costa requested funds for: 

City of Dos Palos Water Plant Clarifier Replacement
Amount: $349,580
What will the funding do? The project would remove and replace eight troughs installed in 1969 in Dos Palos. This project would assure uninterrupted water service to provide good, clean and safe drinking water for Dos Palos. 

City of Gustine Water Loop Line Improvements
Amount: $950,000
What will the funding do? The project will ensure Gustine achieves resource equity, while also creating a more stable water distribution system and sufficient water pressure throughout the city that minimizes public health risks and safety concerns. 

City of Madera Ave 13 Sewer Trunk Main Rehabilitation
Amount: $5 million
What will the funding do? The project will preserve vital infrastructure and extend its useful life for at least another 50 years. It will restore nearly 1.5 miles of pipelines needed to ensure proper wastewater treatment for Madera. 

Los Banos Creek Detention Reservoir Regulation and Storage Project
Amount: $3.5 million
What will the funding do? The project utilizes and existing, single purpose flood projection reservoir and expands it to a multi-purpose water supply resiliency reservoir that provides 8,000 acre-feet of water average annual yield to the region. It will also provide long-term and independent solutions to flooding, drought, groundwater overdraft and subsidence. 

Fresno City College Nurse Pipelines Expansion Project
Amount: $474,000
What will the funding do? The proposed project will recruit first-generation students of color, supporting matriculation from the Fresno City College Nursing Program to California State University, Fresno bachelor’s in nursing program that they will complete and continue to master’s level advanced practice nursing. 

Central Valley Training Center
Amount: $1.9 million
What will the funding do? The Central Valley Training Center, an education and training campus, will be established in the Southwest Fresno Region, serving at-risk and/or disconnected young adults and other underrepresented individuals focusing on participants aged 18-28 from six Central Valley Counties for the purpose of workforce development. 

The project will help provide job readiness and help develop skills for employment success in the Central Valley. 

Advance Peace Fresno
Amount: $300,000
What will the funding do? Advance Peace Fresno is designed to prevent dozens of incidents of gun violence through fellowship programs with at-risk residents. The resulting reduction in violent crimes translates into taxpayer savings.

Merced County Courthouse Museum
Amount: $2 million

What will the funding do? The project would repair one of Merced County’s most historic buildings. 

English Language Learner Post-Pandemic Project
Amount: $625,150
What will the funding do? Funding would be used to ensure Madera Unified School District’s approximately 5,500 English Language learners receive the appropriate support to address unfinished learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UCSF Fresno Alzheimer’s Center and Hillblom Center for Aging
Amount: $481,005
What will the funding do? The proposed project would provide the infrastructure for expanded services for Alzheimer’s disease, aging-related care and neurology care. Since over 40 percent of the population in the Central Valley has Medicaid coverage, this grant will supplement the required expenses to develop the services as outlined in the proposal.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.