Selma looks to the future with CIP plan

Selma City Council adopts 10-year capital improvement plan for public safety buildings, parks and infrastructure projects

Looking east on Second St towards the Selma Veterans Plaza. (Kenny Goodman)
Looking east on Second St towards the Selma Veterans Plaza. (Kenny Goodman)
Serena Bettis
Published March 15, 2024  • 
11:00 am

SELMA – Over the next decade, the city of Selma will look to fund a plethora of capital improvement projects that total more than $150 million.

The Selma City Council unanimously approved the city’s 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at the March 4 council meeting after reviewing the proposed projects during a work session. The program encompasses projects in five categories and is meant to help the city budget for growth and enhance residents’ quality of life. 

“Thank you to the staff for working so hard on this; I really think it’s a good thing,” Mayor pro tem Beverley Cho said. “First time in a long time … the city actually has a direction, and … I think for the future, we can see some hope, and that’s very important.”

City Manager Fernando Santillan said the CIP is a living document that “never stops evolving based on the city’s urgent priorities.” To that end, he said that projects can be removed and added as the city council sees fit throughout the next 10 years and throughout the annual city budgeting process. 

During the regular meeting Mayor Scott Robertson said he also wanted to see the city incorporate solar power into its buildings and develop a large, regional park. Other items that were added included a sports complex as part of the regional park and a new, expanded animal shelter. 

The program is for projects beginning in fiscal year 2023-24 and goes through fiscal year 2033-34. City staff discussed a variety of funding sources during the work session, and said that part of why they want to plan these projects 10 years in advance is so they can apply for grants, set aside money and find other funding streams for the projects.

A few of the bigger projects, such as buildings and parks, will be partially funded with development impact fees, which the city is currently studying.

Santillan said that for the projects included in the CIP presentation, the cost would be an average of $15 million per year, “which is not necessarily a lot of money if you’re able to leverage all the funding sources that are out there.” 

Other funding sources include grants, state and federal budget earmarks, Fresno County’s Measure C, Selma’s Measure S and the city’s general fund revenues. 

“The good thing is we have quite a few funding streams, and the bad thing is that costs of capital projects generally outpace the increase in revenues to the city,” Santillan said. 

Capital improvement projects

The five categories of capital improvement projects include public safety, parks and recreation, streets and infrastructure, public works and maintenance and administration. 

Santillan stressed that the total costs included for each project in the CIP are estimates that the city can use to then plan for funding sources. 

Public safety projects total approximately $35.8 million, parks and recreation projects total approximately $42.6 million, streets and infrastructure projects total approximately $49.6 million, public works and maintenance projects total approximately $4.7 million and administration projects total approximately $18.4 million.

Key public safety projects include two police substations situated in the northeast and southwest of Selma that would cost a combined $24 million and are planned in the CIP for fiscal years 2026-27 and 2027-28. A new fire station is also currently being planned for fiscal year 2024-25 and 2025-26, totaling $11 million. 

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design of the new fire station is being released soon, Santillan said, and the city received $4.5 million from the state for the project. Santillan said that approximately $4 million in the ambulance fund has been set aside for the project, and as revenue into that fund increases, the cost will be offset.

Projects outlined for parks and recreation in the next few years include the development of Thompson Park and the improvements to Pioneer Village. Thompson Park will cost $12 million and the Pioneer Village improvements are estimated at $5 million, with both planned to be paid for in phases through fiscal year 2026-27. 

Other parks and recreation projects include new bike and pedestrian trails, repairs to existing courts and walking paths and a new $18.5 million community center, planned for fiscal year 2027-28 through fiscal year 2030-31. 

Infrastructure, streets and public works projects include funding for street sealing and reconstruction, sidewalk projects and public works equipment that is nearing the end of its life. 

To determine what streets need attention, the city engineer compiles analytical reports of roads and takes into consideration input from public works staff and city residents. Selma City Engineer David Horn said the projects planned out will be adjusted based on what funding sources the city can receive.

Finally, the administration category included a new city hall estimated at $18 million. 

“We’re virtually at capacity here at City Hall with our employees; … I think within the next five years if the development happens as we expect it to, we’ll probably need some additional staff to be able to support the services that we’re providing to the city,” Santillan said. 

Projects budgeted for the upcoming fiscal year will be brought before the city council again during budget discussions in the coming months.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter