Hurtado announces $2.8 million investment to replace Olson-Kings River Sewer Main
For Immediate Release: October 12, 2021
Media Contact: Michelle.Sherwood@sen.ca.gov
HURTADO ANNOUNCES $2.8 MILLION INVESTMENT TO REPLACE OLSON-KINGS RIVER SEWER MAIN
REEDLEY, CA – Today, Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) released the following statement after her press conference announcing an investment of $2.8 million to replace the Olson-Kings River Sewer Main:
“The small rural city of Reedley was on the brink of an environmental disaster on the Kings River,” said Senator Hurtado. “One that would have hurt the health of more than 20,000 people. Small rural communities often go unheard and are often left behind, but the leaders of this community did not give up. They pressed on and their efforts have protected the well-being of Reedley residents. I congratulate them for their leadership and victory in securing $2.8 million for their constituents.”
“I’m glad that I could successfully help secure State funding for the City of Reedley’s project,” said Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno.) “This $2.8 million is the final critical piece that Reedley needs to replace a key sewer line – without it, the wastewater treatment plant is in jeopardy of failing and that would impact the lives of all Reedley residents. Failure also would imperil the Kings River and cause extreme environmental damage. The project is ready to move forward, and it’s imperative that it be completed.”
“The modern necessities of life like water and sewers are a key component of any city,” said Mary Fast, Mayor of Reedley. “Keeping this infrastructure in good working order is critical for the environment and the health of our residents. This Olson sewer project has been in the planning phase, but due to failure of the line further up, we knew we needed to move up the timeline to prevent an environmental catastrophe. We do not want our beautiful Kings River to be harmed by a sewer pipe collapse. Thanks to this state funding, Reedley residents, this system will be replaced before a crisis occurs. The City of Reedley is grateful to Senator Hurtado and Assemblyman Arambula for recognizing our need and fighting for our Valley to get resources for this project.”
The underground sewer line that conveys all of the raw sewage from the City of Reedley to the treatment plant is in danger of failing. 200 feet of the line has collapsed already, and it is expected the remaining line could collapse eminently. If the line collapses, thousands, if not millions, of gallons of raw sewage will flow into the Kings River, causing significant environmental damage. The sewer line replacement project has been in the planning phase for several years. All engineering and environmental reviews have been completed and plan sets are ready to go out to bid. With this funding, the City of Reedley will be able to finally complete the project.
This legislative session, Senator Hurtado secured $1,000,000 in the State Budget that will be divided in grants among the fire and public safety departments of the cities of Lindsay, Woodlake and Sanger. This funding can be utilized towards addressing wildfire risk and impacts, as well as for public safety equipment. She also secured $750,000 for the City of Farmersville to purchase a new fire engine.
Senator Hurtado also secured $25 million for a regional fire training center in Fresno in this year’s budget. Built in the 1930s, the last major upgrade to the training center was in 1953. The training center was built for a department of 100, which protected a population of 50,000; Fresno, today, has more than 540,000 residents and 302 firefighters on staff.
The City of Fresno is positioned as a regional hub, meaning that this training center will help support fire personnel in surrounding cities and counties. Fresno hosts hundreds of fire service training officers from across California at the Training Officers Symposium, the state’s premiere fire-training event.
This $25 million investment in the Central Valley will allow the fire service to perform live-fire training exercises, and use specialty training props. It will ensure smaller fire departments in the region don’t need to travel to Los Angeles or the Bay Area for training, helping to strengthen the Central Valley’s workforce pipeline, and bringing the departments closer to state and national average recommended ratios of firefighters-per-population coverage.
About Senator Melissa Hurtado
Senator Melissa Hurtado represents a new generation of Latina leaders as the youngest woman ever elected to the California State Senate and a product of immigrant parents. Senator Hurtado represents the 14th Senate District and focuses on rural community issues that often go unheard — access to clean air and water, food insecurity and poverty, inequities in environmental policies, agriculture and access to health care. In July 2020, she was appointed to the national Biden Latino Leadership Committee alongside former Labor Secretary and current Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis – the only two California Latinas on the Committee.