The Fresno City Council is dealing with a good problem, an $8.6 million windfall. The council voted Thursday to spend the net balance of the funds - $5.8 million - on a variety of items, from repairs at parks and city owned parking garages to body cameras for police officers. It also includes $1.3 million for a down payment on a planned headquarters building for the fire department. The funding came from carryover items from the last budget year, as well as higher than anticipated hotel and sales tax revenues.
A new gas station and convenience store is coming to a neighborhood between downtown Fresno and the Tower District. The city council Thursday also approved a proposal by George Beal to build a Johnny Quick store, and gas station at Belmont and Van Ness, adjacent to the Highway 180 off-ramp. Residents in the area voiced their opposition in the meeting to Beal’s plan to sell liquor at the store, saying the area already has a high concentration of liquor licenses. The council wound up approving the development, on the condition that Beal purchases an existing liquor license in the nearby area and transfers it to the new project.
A recent court case in Texas is resulting in big changes to the City of Fresno’s campaign finance laws. The city council Thursday also voted to stop enforcing a provision in the city’s charter that sets a time limit on campaign spending due to the ruling in the City of Austin versus Zimmerman. In that case, a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge ruled that such limits are unconstitutional.