City Median Island Action Plan

FRESNO , CA ( August 4, 2005) – Mayor Autry is pleased to announce that in keeping with Team Fresno’s New Normal, the Departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, and Parks Recreation Community Services have collaboratively prepared an action plan addressing the current status of the City’s median islands. These departments will work with a sense of urgency and a commitment to catching up quickly, while also implementing a longer-term maintenance solution.

The principal goals of the attached Action Plan are to bring all “tall weed” areas and major corridor medians up to standard within 30 to 60 days and, to provide long-term sustainability to all media islands, using a 60-day cycle for major corridors, and a 90-day cycle for all other median islands and CFD/LLMD Landscape Areas.

The Action Plan is broken into immediate, short-term, and long-term solutions. Immediate solutions include investing the resources for the removal of 6.36 million square feet of “tall weed” areas along major corridors within 30 days (see Attachment A for median island locations). Short-term solutions include the removal of another 6.36 million square feet for the remaining medians over the following 30 days (see Attachment B). Long-term solutions dedicate the resources needed for a 60 day maintenance cycle along major corridors, and a 90 day cycle outside major corridors, beginning September 2005.

The City departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, and Parks, Recreation, and Community Services will also continue to explore and implement all operational methods of meeting service-delivery requirements of the City’s median islands. A critical component for the maintenance of the median islands is the use of inmate labor. Due to contracting issues with Fresno County inmate labor has not been available for six months. The plan identifies the use of temporary labor to backfill the loss of inmate labor until such time as the contract with Fresno County is completed, which is anticipated to be within 30-60 days. Staff is currently evaluating additional long-term options related to private contracting, planting drought-tolerant plants during the construction of new non-CFD medians (Attachment C), and converting 12,000 square feel of medians to hardscape and drought tolerant planting standards by May 1, 2006, as a demonstration project.

City Manager Andrew T. Souza stated that “The team approach used by the Departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, and Parks Recreation Community Services are a true reflection of the New Normal and Team Fresno. I’m confident that the action plan they’ve presented will resolve both the short and long term challenges we have been facing in maintaining our median islands.”

The cost of providing temporary labor until inmate crews are available will be funded by salary savings from vacant positions as well as operational efficiencies within the Departments.

( See Median Island Landscape Plan Of Action - pdf format )
Andrew T. Souza , City Manager
Contact: Ken Shockley, Public Affairs Officer: (559) 621-7777

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