With hefty sum pouring in for infrastructure, Fresno launches new department to handle work

The new department is seen as a mixture of government and private sector work, which ultimately is an effort to handle projects in a more timely manner.

The City of Fresno is creating a new department to handle the wide variety of infrastructure projects in the works throughout the city. 

Thursday’s unanimous vote by the Fresno City Council to create the Capital Projects Department will result in dozens of new hires at City Hall. 


The big picture: The new Capital Projects Department will take over much of the city’s infrastructure needs from the Public Works Department and the Department of Public Utilities. 

  • Currently the city has hundreds of capital projects in the works through the Department of Public Works and the Department of Public Utilities, many of which have developed in recent years since Measure P funds came into play, putting a stress on the existing departments which have inadequate staffing to handle it. 
  • The city views the new department as necessary to restructure the projects and complete them in a timely manner. 
  • The Public Works Department will continue to work on regular projects such as street and landscape maintenance. 

By the numbers: Fresno is able to take this route with a new department in part because of the influx of cash from the state – $250 million for infrastructure improvements in downtown Fresno. 

  • The council appropriated $50 million to the Capital Projects Department from state funding and reclassified $4.5 million from the Public Works Department and $1.9 million from the Public Utilities Department. 
  • Forty-six positions are being added to staff the Capital Projects Department, while 74 jobs are being transferred from Public Works and 20 from Public Utilities. 

What they’re saying: City Manager Georgeanne White said the city will be aggressive in securing other funding sources in the coming years – such as money from the 2021 infrastructure bill – while maintaining an annual stream of revenue from Measure P to help fund the department. 

  • White also said the city’s new department is a combination of government work and the private sector, and Councilman Mike Karbassi called Thursday’s vote “one of the most significant” that they will take this year.
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