Mayor, Council Members, Homebuilders Praise Local Economic Stimulus Effort

Mayor Ashley Swearengin today joined City Council members and representatives of the local home building community to praise a local economic stimulus effort that will help preserve and create jobs in the residential construction industry.

The stimulus initiative, presented to the City Council last week, calls for a moratorium on impact fee increases or potential new impact fees (except the Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee) for lots with building permits pulled before Dec. 31, 2009. As a result, local residential developers will be able to continue construction of new homes during these difficult economic times.

“This is an approach that will preserve and create local jobs, and it will provide an immediate benefit to our local economy,” Mayor Swearengin said. “Projects that once were in danger of shutting down will now be able to continue to move forward. We’re helping our local builders and also helping people to be able to afford a house.”

The freezing of fees will continue until new home sales in the City of Fresno reach $45 million per month, based on a six-month rolling average. The moratorium will end 60 days after that point is reached.

The recommendation was presented by the Economic Stimulus Committee, a group formed by Mayor Swearengin to create a plan of action that would preserve local jobs and help local businesses.

In addition to Mayor Swearengin, members of the Economic Stimulus Committee included Council President Cynthia Sterling; council members Blong Xiong and Andreas Borgeas; local small business owners; and representatives of the residential, commercial and industrial development communities.

Among other items, the committee also agreed to promote increased local purchasing by the City by amending the existing local preference ordinance to include a small business component. The local purchasing ordinance will be presented to City Council at its March 31 meeting.