Reedley City Council adopts budget to redirect COVID-19 funding to create plans for a new city hall building, with hopes further funding will follow
reedley – The Reedley City Council adopted a budget on Nov. 8, to reallocate $100,000 of state and local COVID-19 fiscal recovery funds for initial planning and design work for a future city hall facility.
“The [grant] dollars are already in hand from the federal government and we believe $100,000 can get very far in the initial planning, design and building plans,” said Nicole Zieba, Reedley’s city manager. “Our goal is, we would take those plans to our senators and assembly people and look for grants to build a new building.”
The council voted unanimously to redirect the funding and start the planning of a new city hall and the next step for officials is to speak with architects and engineers to draft a blueprint.
City officials said during the meeting that it’s important to begin the project sooner than later because the longer a project is held the more expensive it can be to start. Zieba said that the city of Reedley had a building located behind the current city hall. She said it was called “The Royal Building” and was purchased with the intention of expanding the police department and city hall.
One of the main issues that Zieba said is interfering with city business is the size of the current council chambers.
“When this city hall was built, originally in the 1960s our population in the city of Reedley was roughly 5,600 people,” she said. “When we did a remodel in the 90s, our population at that time was 15,000.”
Zieba said the population in Reedley, according to the most recent Census, is about 26,000 people.
“What we are finding right now is that we are bursting at the seams and particularly at the police department,” said Zieba. “We have been forced to bring a modular unit that now houses staff out there and a training room which was not anticipated to be a permanent structure on G Street.”
Zieba said the council chambers has at times been standing room only for residents who come to listen to and speak on important issues that may impact them.
“When we did our Mid Valley Disposal outsourcing,” Zeiba said, “we had people that had to wait outside and could not participate in our public process like we’d like them to because our facility was built when our population was very small.”
City officials were previously working on purchasing a state owned facility located in Reedley, however, Zieba said the county of Fresno decided to purchase the building instead.
“So we went back to square one looking for an annex facility,” Zieba said. “Our initial goal was to potentially build a new police department but looking at the specialized facilities that we currently have, the Sallyport, the jail, the dispatch, the evidence, the locker rooms, will be much easier to move.”
She said administrative offices like finance, human resources, utilities and billing are much easier to build a new building because it would just be office space.