On December 3rd, at 1:30pm, the Fresno City Council will be presented with the last step of the process to eliminate the Fulton Mall and turn it into a street. They will vote on whether to award the contract or not to begin the destruction of the pedestrian mall.
At this point, the project is 11 months late and, more importantly, $3 million dollars over budget.
At $23.05 million, American Paving had the lowest of three bids for
the project. The other two bidders were Lewis C. Nelson at $23.3 million
and Granite Construction at $27.68 million. Right off , the city
is eliminating a bid alternative that will save around $600,000. That
takes American Paving’s bid to $22.4 million. The cash on hand for the
project – around $20 million – means City Hall now needs to either cut
around $2.4 million from the proposal or find some additional revenue.
It looks like the city isn’t counting on the latter.
“We have to do it with the resources we have available,” Swearengin said.
While the mayor is pushing through, the final decision to sign the cheque is up to the City Council – a council which is wary about projects that are late and over budget.
That means, if you are interested in saving the Fulton Mall, you have one last opportunity to contact your council member and tell them why you don’t think they should approve the plan.
You can find who your representative is here:
Their emails are formatted as firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, you can see my analysis of the construction diagrams here
I’ve written a letter addressing the following points:
- The project is already over-cost and delayed, can we trust the other promises the city has made?
- The mayor is promising to bring a list of changes to cut the budget – shouldn’t the vote be delayed so the people of Fresno can review those changes? Details matter. We should know what’s being chopped and have a time to comment.
- The plan should be modified into a phased approach, so the cost and time of the conversion of one block (the northern-most) can be analyzed to see if it will hold true for the entire project. For these types of projects they always fund buried power-lines and sewer lines that weren’t mapped – adding millions in costs and months of delays.
I hope you can do the same, and feel free to recommend your own talking points in the comments below.