City of Fresno says it is trying to recover from major infrastructure problems

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The city of Fresno admits their infrastructure is in need of a significant amount of investment. (KFSN)

For Orelia Warren, her wheelchair is like her car-- and like drivers she knows roads can be damaging.

"Sometime you can get stuck in a pothole; I got stuck here by the mall about a year and half ago."

Potholes are causing a different problem for Rafaela Sabala-- her walker is how she gets around.

"All of a sudden we hit a bump and it's like and it goes up like I'm going to fall forward so I have to pull it back, and there's some over there and there's some over here, and that's dangerous because I try to walk a lot."

The city of Fresno admits their infrastructure is in need of a significant amount of investment. That includes city parks, sidewalks, and streets-- which have been in a 50 to 60 year paving cycle when the average time frame is around 20 years.

"It boils down to a lack of resources and the competing priorities for those limited resources," said Bruce Rudd, Fresno City Manager.

Rudd said, in the instance of roads, revenue from the state has gone down because of more fuel efficient cars and falling gas prices, making it difficult to maintain troubled streets.

"That is gas tax that is what we use to fix potholes and sidewalks and not necessarily repave a whole road, that's what we use to patch a road."

The city tells us it is losing about $2-million from the state this year and will likely lose the same amount next year.

So when it comes to improving the infrastructure, public safety is often the primary focus.

"Give you an example, our fire department needed to replace fire apparatus every eight years. We never funded a replacement plan so we had fire apparatus that was like 10-years-old and breaking down," said Rudd.

To address serious infrastructure issues, Mayor Lee Brand plans to develop a 10 year recovery plan.

The city manager said if it were not for local sales tax initiatives, like Measure C, the city would be in a lot worse shape.
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