Mayor Jerry Dyer pleads for federal help as Fresno faces $31 million budget shortfall

To offset Fresno's budget shortfall, the mayor said they could be forced to cut police officer and firefighter positions.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Mayor Jerry Dyer wants help from the federal government as the city of Fresno faces a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

Dyer said he's putting politics aside and putting people at the forefront of his plea, saying stimulus dollars are crucial to help save jobs and save housing in Fresno.

"We need help, and I'm asking them for help," he said. "The stimulus dollars are needed. We have people facing evictions, landlords who have not been paid their rents... The longer this goes on, the more likely we're going to see people make difficult decision for their family their businesses."

Dyer on Tuesday spoke about the city's massive $31 million budget shortfall, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To offset the costs, Dyer said they could be forced to cut police officer and firefighter positions.

Dyer says the $1.4 trillion relief plan could help avoid layoffs, but also help with the increasing homelessness issue and prevent evictions.

"I'm going to do everything I can to get assistance for people here," he said.

The city of Fresno recently received $15.8 million for emergency rental assistance in January, aimed at making sure landlords are given overdue rent.

The Central California Apartment Association vice president, however, said it's still an issue, especially for what he calls 'mom and pop' landlords.

Association officials said the plan would help tenants avoid accrued rent while reducing the landlord's burden of having several payments owed.

A federal eviction moratorium aimed at preventing renters from eviction is currently in effect, and set to expire at the end of March.

Dyer also said the stimulus could help residents pay energy and water bills.

He said that currently, the city is owed more than $5 million in water and trash.

PG&E officials last week announced they were extending their customer protections through June.
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