Visalia

Tulare eyes various projects to target with ‘Biden bucks’

With $18 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) on its way, the City of Tulare is starting the process to look at how to spend the money. 

City Manager Marc Mondell presented the city’s initial plan to the Tulare City Council on Tuesday, and the council will hold public hearings at future meetings to receive input from the public on utilizing the stimulus funds before making any decisions. 

Mondell and the city staff initially compiled a list of 67 projects that the city could direct the funds to. 

With those projects totaling over $60 million, staff whittled the list down to 18 projects that would come in around $18 million total, just fitting in with the ARPA funds. 

“I want to compliment staff for what’s been put together,” Tulare Mayor Dennis Mederos said. “This is an exciting proposal, and this is the first opportunity we have to see this list… I’m excited about what it does, especially to our downtown.” 

As Mederos noted, downtown Tulare would be a large focus of the plan. 

A downtown facade and rehabilitation project would receive $500,000, and the downtown master plan would receive an update, which would cost $100,000. 

The largest project would be the redevelopment of Zumwalt Park, running an estimated $5 million. 

With the redevelopment, Zumwalt Park would add an amphitheater, dog park and splash pad, among other amenities. 

A remodel of the courthouse would be the next largest project, receiving $2.8 million from the funds. 

Just as cities across the country are utilizing their coronavirus stimulus funds, Tulare would seek to use $2.6 million to replace lost revenue from the general fund. 

The other projects that would run at least $1 million would be financial system equipment replacement ($1.65 million), Highway 99 water crossing ($1.4 million), dispatch equipment replacement for emergency services ($1.18 million) and a homeless shelter ($1 million). 

Other projects include aid for ongoing pandemic response and infrastructure work, among others. 

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.