State funds new Fresno parks

FRESNO, Calif.

The park would be welcome to downtown residents like Nick Perez. "I live a block away, we have dogs and we've been looking for a place to take a family and dogs and have somewhere to play."

The $2.5 million for this park comes from the State Parks grant, funded by proposition 84 a bonding measure California voters passed six years ago.

Also funded was Martin Rey Riley Park, located at Chestnut and Highway 180 in Southeast Fresno. The city already has the land, the more than $3 million grant will be used to develop the park. But Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd says there is a catch. "How do we go about maintaining these assets in the future."

City Council President Clint Olivier is looking for a way to pay for the maintenance of Martin Rey Riley Park, which is in his district. "I am currently working with a number of nonprofits and corporations inside and outside of Fresno to try and do naming rights or do some kind of sponsorships to get that park maintained in perpetuity at no cost to the tax payer."

Developer Darius Assemi says he's willing to talk with the city about helping with maintenance of the downtown park. Other funding received today from Cal Trans, and other agencies will go to improve the city's older parks and playgrounds. Dickey Park will get new bathrooms, irrigation and the old barracks building will be torn down, making more green space.

Improvements are also coming to the Ted C. Wills Community Center, Romaine, Quigley, and Eisenhower playgrounds.

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