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Fresno COG Policy Board


Thursday, May 29, 2014
5:30 PM

COG Sequoia Conference Room
2035 Tulare St., Suite 201, Fresno, CA

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodations
The Fresno COG offices and restrooms are ADA accessible. Representatives or individuals with disabilities should contact Fresno COG at (559) 233-4148, at least 3 days in advance, to request auxillary aids and/or translation services necessary to participate in the public meeting / public hearing. If Fresno COG is unable to accommodate an auxiliary aid or translation request for a public hearing, after receiving proper notice, the hearing will be continued on a specified date when accommodations are available.


AB23 Requirement:  In accordance with the Brown Act and AB23 the amount of stipend paid to members for attending this meeting of the Fresno Council of Governments Policy Board is $100.





1.  Marla Day - 10 years

2.  Clark Thompson - 20 years

Fresno COG Sitting as the Transportation Policy Committee


About Consent Items:

All items on the consent agenda are considered to be routine and non-controversial by COG staff and will be approved by one motion if no member of the Committee or public wishes to comment or ask questions.  If comment or discussion is desired by anyone, the item will be removed from the consent agenda and will be considered in the listed sequence with an opportunity for any member of the public to address the Committee concerning the item before action is taken.

FY 2013-14 Transportation Funding Claims [Fawcett] [INFO]

Summary: All Member Agency TDA claims for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 have been approved by the Fresno COG Policy Board. Once the final LTF and STA apportionment estimates and FCRTA budget have been approved by the Fresno COG Policy Board, TDA claims for FY 2014-2015 will be solicited.

Action: Information/Action item. Direction may be given at the discretion of Policy Board.

Transportation Development Act – Final Estimates Resolution 2014-12 and 2014-13 [Fawcett] [APPROVE]

Summary: The Transportation Development Act (TDA) provides for two sources of funding, Local Transportation Funding (LTF) and State Transit Assistance (STA). Both the LTF and STA Apportionment to Member Agencies Final Estimate methodology tables are enclosed and reflect the recently released January 2014 DOF Population Estimates. These apportionment estimates will be used to prepare the transportation funding claims for member agencies and transit operators throughout Fresno County.


The Final Estimate of $30,000,000 is based on the Fresno County Auditor Controller methodology of calculating the tax receipts over the last several fiscal cycles.


The Final Estimate of the State Transit Assistance (STA) is $5,334,621; which is $199,681 lower than the Final Estimate for STA apportionment for the FY 2013/2014 of $5,534,302. This reduction in apportionment is not as significant as the adjustment of the FY 2013/2014 STA, which was a correction of the overestimation of tax receipts collected during the 2011/2012 fiscal cycle. 

 Action: TTC/PAC recommend that the Policy Board adopt the final Local Transportation Fund, and State Transit Assistance final estimates by approving Resolutions 2014-12 and 2014-13.

Transit Planning Documents for 45 day review [Long/Joseph/Halterman] [REVIEW]

1.  Urban & Rural Consolidated Transportation Services Agency (CTSA) Operations Program & Budget, FY 2014-15 [JOSEPH — FRESNO EOC]

Summary: The Consolidated Transportation Service Agency’s (CTSA) Operations Program and Budget(OPB), FY 2014-15 for the Fresno Urban and Rural CTSA is available on the Fresno COG website at: The document is designed to provide an overview of how and in what manner the Consolidated Transportation Service Agencies will be providing service over the next fiscal year. The Social Service Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) will begin their review of the document on May 27, 2014.  The OPB 45 day review process was initiated on May 09, 2013 by the TTC and is scheduled to be ratified by the Governing Board on June 26, 2014. 

Action:  TTC/PAC recommend initiation of the 45-day review for adoption on June 26, 2014 by the COG Policy Board.

2.  Clovis Consolidated Transportation Services Agency (CTSA) FY 2014-15 Operations Program & Budget [HALTERMAN — CITY OF CLOVIS]

Summary: The Clovis Consolidated Transportation Service Agency’s (CTSA) Operations Program and Budget (OPB) FY 2014-15 for the Clovis Urban Area is designed to provide an overview of how and in what manner the Clovis Consolidated Transportation Service Agency will provide service over the next fiscal year. The Social Service Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) will begin their review of the document on May 27, 2014.  Clovis Consolidated Transportation Service Agency’s (CTSA) Operations Program and Budget FY 2014-15 for the Clovis Urban Area document is available on the Fresno COG website at:  The OPB 45 day review process was initiated on May 9, 2014 by the TTC and is scheduled to be ratified by the Governing Board on June 26, 2014. 

Action: TTC/PAC recommend initiation of the 45-day review for adoption on June 26, 2014 by the COG Policy Board.

Prop 84 Update [Terry] [INFORMATION]

Summary: (Prop 84 Round 1) Following is a brief report on the status of Round 1 activities:

  • (Task 1) Valley-wide SCS Outreach (Valley Visions) has concluded, with public workshops having been conducted on the individual COG level throughout all eight counties in-line with the media outreach plan.  Materials related to the outreach campaign have been made available in multiple languages, with consistent efforts to outreach to environmental justice communities throughout the Valley.

For any questions regarding Valley-wide SCS Outreach activities, please contact Brenda Veenendaal at (559) 233-4148 Ext. 219 or via email at

  • (Task 2) Blueprint Integration (BPI) outreach and circuit planning activities to the 46 valley cities with populations under 50,000 concluded in June of 2013.

As approved by the Fresno COG Policy Board in March of 2014, Fresno COG has recently entered into a contract with EPS to conduct pre-analysis (data collection, pro-forma research, stakeholder outreach, etc.) activities associated with the Infill Development Viability Analysis the COG’s are currently seeking Partnership Planning Grant funds to conduct.  Such activities are intended to provide additional detail and information making sample project location much more efficient and relevant.  Project activities are beginning in April, and will include seeking feedback from the various stakeholder groups, including local agency staff.  Completion of the contract is scheduled for June 30, 2014.

For any questions regarding Blueprint Integration efforts, please contact Rob Terry at (559) 233-4148 Ext. 222 or via email at

  • (Task 3) Greenprint – A Greenprint Update is included in its own Action/Discussion Item within this agenda.

For any questions regarding the Greenprint, please contact Clark Thompson at (559) 233-4148 Ext. 203 or via email at

(Prop 84 Round 2) Following is a brief report on the status of Round 2 activities:

  • (Task 1) Greenprint Integration (Greenprint Phase II) activities are anticipated to begin in July of 2014.

For any questions regarding the Greenprint, please contact Clark Thompson at (559) 233-4148 Ext. 203 or via email at

  • (Task 2) Model Land-Use Revalidation activities began in January 2014, with the processing of an RFP for Valley Modeling Improvements, and consequent contracting with Fehr & Peers.  The improvements to each of the 8 San Joaquin Valley models need to be fully completed and tested by no later than July 1, 2016.

For any questions regarding Model Land-Use Revalidation efforts, please contact Mike Bitner at (559) 233-4148 Ext. 216 or via email at

  • (Task 3) SCS Implementation efforts are anticipated to begin in the summer of 2014.  Due to the completion of several anticipated Round 2 activities within Round 1, DOC representatives have approved the re-allocation of line item funds to increase the amount of funding for both SCS printing/duplication for outreach and public involvement, as well as the amount available to assist with RHNA coordination.  A total of $55,000 for RHNA coordination and $88,674 for SCS printing/duplication reflect the new line items.  These amounts are to be allocated to each COG based upon population percentages (utilizing the Planning Center data), similar to other valley activities in the recent past.

(Prop 84 Round 3) An application for Round 3 funding in the amount of one-million dollars was submitted to the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) by Fresno COG, in behalf of the eight valley COGs, on February 28, 2014.  Specific tasks associated with the application would allow for SCS implementation efforts to take place at each COG independently, with information and reporting activities taking place on a valleywide scale.  If awarded, the funding would be allocated to each of the eight COGs based upon their percentage of the population within the valley as a whole.  It is anticipated that the SGC will announce award recipients in May.

For any questions regarding SCS Implementation activities, please contact Rob Terry at (559) 233-4148 Ext. 222 or via email at

(Blueprint) Activities associated with the valley-IMPACS tool kicked-off April 3rd, with several supplementary lunch meetings held to solicit additional feedback and involvement throughout the month of April, in partnership with LGC and AECOM. 

Fresno COG staff will be seeking the input and feedback of local agency staff within Fresno County, particularly members of the TTC and PAC, to provide general direction on tool preferences and overarching needs.  As such, a preference and information survey will be sent to local agencies by AECOM (the consultant) in the near future, as well as direct outreach from Fresno COG staff throughout the months of April, May and June.  Staff would greatly appreciate your feedback to ensure relevant and needed items for local use are addressed within the make-up of the tool.  Enhancements to the IMPACS tool to meet the needs of valley agencies will be completed by June 30, 2014.

Action: This is an information item.  Direction may be given at the discretion of the Policy Board. 

Greenprint Update [Thompson] [INFORMATION]

Summary:  Phase I of the Greenprint project is scheduled to end June 30 of this year.  Focus group meetings with agricultural and water stakeholders were held in late March and a meeting with a more general group of stakeholders was held in April.  Presentations were provided to the Kings County Association of Governments on April 23 and to a workshop hosted by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in Fresno on April 24.  On June 2 in Sacramento there will be a meeting with representatives of Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the Strategic Growth Council, the Local Government Commission, and others to discuss lessons learned in the San Joaquin Valley Greenprint project and similar efforts elsewhere so that Phase II of the Greenprint project can be as useful as possible.  Phase II is then expected to begin this summer.  Although not yet completely defined, Phase II, in addition to what is learned from the Sacramento meeting, will likely include training sessions (on understanding and using the maps developed in Phase I), the identification and funding of pilot projects, some ongoing mapping and analysis, and the preparation of a “Guide for Resource Management,” including best practices that may be self-selected by agencies within the San Joaquin Valley.  Please contact Fresno COG staffperson Clark Thompson at (559) 233-4148 x203 or if you have any questions or comments about the Greenprint project.

Action:  Information item.  Direction may be provided at the discretion of the Policy Board.

Intelligent Transportation System Strategic Development Plan Update [Arnest][INFORMATION]


Summary:  Fresno COG is in the process of updating the Fresno County Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategic Deployment Plan.  This update is a critical component of a coherent plan to address the transportation needs of the county through ITS.   As travel demand on the freeway and arterial system increases, there is an increasing need to improve the system through active management as opposed to just additional capacity.  Similarly, there is an increasing need to apply technology to increase the efficiencies of public transportation systems in the county.  In recognition of this, Fresno COG and the various communities in the county continue to invest in intelligent transportation systems.  The ITS Plan Update will ensure that these investments address the important needs in the county and bring the maximum benefit to travelers while developing a specific implementation plan for the county.

The success of a regional ITS Plan depends on participation by a diverse set of regional stakeholders.  These stakeholders will be utilized to assist with development of the regional Fresno ITS Strategic Deployment Plan Update. Stakeholder meetings are generally held once a month and attended by a number of the approximately 30 agencies/organizations.

Action:  Information.  Direction may be provided at the discretion of the Policy Board.

FCMA Public Transportation Strategic Service Evaluation [Downs] [INFORMATION]

Summary:  The Overall Work Program (OWP) includes Work Element 125, the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area (FCMA) Public Transportation Strategic Service Evaluation.   This project is funded by an Urban Transit Planning Grant awarded through Caltrans.

The purpose of the FCMA Strategic Service Evaluation is to examine metro travel patterns through extensive origin and destination studies; transit ride check and transfer studies; and pubic and stakeholder input with a goal of reducing transit travel times, increasing service reliability, and improving linkages to major trip generators.  Improving transit travel time, reliability and responsiveness to community needs is critically necessary for making transit a viable alternative in contemporary urban environments.

To date we have completed the data gathering as well as significant evaluation of the various data including:

  • Stakeholder interviews (elected officials, policy makers, community leaders, service providers);
  • Completed review of transit operations policies and practices;
  • Completed a system performance assessment for FAX and Clovis Transit;
  • Analyzed automatic passenger counter (APC) data for FAX;
  • Completed onboard survey for origin and destination information (more than 4,200 surveys of FAX and Clovis passengers);
  • Completed AirSage (anonymous cell phone data) data used to identify major origins and destination within the FCMA; and
  • Three workshops were held (Fresno City College, Fresno State College, and Fresno City Hall) to review the findings and collect input to assist in the development of transit network alternatives.

We are now in the process of developing transit network alternatives based on the data collected, the policy review and system assessment, and the stakeholder and community input.  At the request of the Fresno City Manager Bruce Rudd, the consulting team will be back in Fresno on May 22nd to conduct a workshop for Fresno City Council.  There are also additional community workshops planned for the same week.  Once the network alternatives have been competed they will be presented at additional public events leading to the selection of a preferred alternative.

The Policy Review, System Assessment, On-board Survey Report, Public Workshop Presentation, and other relevant documents are available for review or download on the Fresno COG website.

Action:  This is an information/discussion item.  Direction may be given at the discretion of the Policy Board. 

Monthly Grant/Call for Project/Request for Proposals Reminder [Garza] [INFORMATION]


For the latest information on grants, contact Ishmael Herrera at

2013-14 Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP)

Deadline: Monday, June 30, 2014 - no later than 4 p.m.

Amount: $2 million

The California Natural Resources Agency (Agency) released the Guidelines and Application for the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP) for the 2013-14 grant cycle.  Applications must be received at the California Natural Resources Agency, 1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311, Sacramento CA, 95814.

Caltrans Active Transportation Program (ATP)

Deadline: May 21, 2014

Amount: Varies 

The ATP consolidates existing federal and state transportation programs, including the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), and State Safe Routes to School (SR2S), into a single program with a focus to make California a national leader in active transportation. ATP gives grants for projects that address ATP's goals to provide safety, incentive, and pathway funding to increase non-motorized forms of transportation. The ATP is divided into three competitive funding opportunities - a statewide competition for all communities, which will choose projects first - a competition for only small cities and rural regions; a competition for large urban regions administered through the MPO’s.

Application Part 1 (required) PDF fillable
Application Part 2 (required) Narrative Questions
Application Instructions (please read)
CTC Guidelines

EDA FY 2014 Economic Development Assistance Programs

Deadline: June 13, 2014 for funding cycle 4 of FY 2014; and October 17, 2014 for funding cycle 1 of FY 2015. 

Amount: Varies

EDA supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. Specifically, under the Economic Development Assistance programs (EDAP) Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement, EDA will make construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs.

California Department of Parks and Recreation: Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) Program
Deadline: October 31, 2014 

Provides funds to local entities to protect threatened species, to address wildlife corridors, to create trails, and to provide for nature interpretation programs which bring urban residents into park and wildlife areas.

 USDA Announces Funding to Train and Educate Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

Deadline: June 12, 2014.

Amount: Varies

The USDA announced the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).  This is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help farmers, ranchers and managers of non-industrial private forest land – specifically those aiming to start farming and those who have been farming or ranching for 10 or fewer years. It is managed by the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA will competitively award grants to organizations conducting programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers.

Priority will be given to projects that are partnerships and collaborations led by or including non-governmental, community-based, or school-based agricultural educational organizations. All applicants are required to provide funds or in-kind support from non-federal sources in an amount that is at least equal to 25 percent of the federal funds requested.

By law, at least five percent of available funding will be allocated to programs and services for limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged beginning farmers and ranchers and farmworkers. Additionally, another five percent of available funding will be allocated for programming and services for military veteran farmers and ranchers.

NIFA is hosting two upcoming webinars for interested applicants on April 30 and May 6 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The first webinar will focus on general guidelines for the program, while the second webinar will focus on the funding allocations for socially-disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and ranchers.

Call for Request for Proposals for a Retrofit Soundwall Corridor Study [GARZA]

In response to increased public inquiry regarding the mitigation of noise levels from local freeways, the Fresno Council of Governments (Fresno COG) is soliciting proposals from qualified consultants to prepare a Retrofit Soundwall Corridor Study for qualifying existing residential developments along eligible portions of the existing state routes throughout Fresno County and where noise impacts are directly related to traffic. While some of these locations were analyzed by Caltrans several years ago, many of these locations need to be reevaluated in light of growing traffic on the state highways adjacent to these locations. The goal of the study is to utilize this data to provide relief to affected communities on a prioritized basis, relying on existing detailed data documenting noise impacts and on new collected data. The project will undertake a review of locations where noise impacts may be severe but remain unquantified and will reassess all previously studied locations where noise barriers have been evaluated but have not yet been designed and constructed.

Proposals must be received by Fresno COG no later than 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Friday, May 23, 2014. A proposer’s workshop will be held if deemed necessary for the purposes of answering and clarifying any questions regarding this RFP.  Proposers may direct questions regarding this RFP to Fresno COG until 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2014. For further information, please contact, please visit the Fresno COG website at or contact Melissa Garza at

Action:  Information. Direction may be provided at the discretion of the Policy Board.


Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Monthly Update [Steck] [ENDORSE/DIRECTION]


On Friday, March 21, 2014 the following documents were released for 55-day Public Review and Comment, with comments due by May 15, 2014:

  • The Draft 2014 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (2014 RTP/SCS) is a long-term coordinated transportation/land use strategy to meet Fresno County transportation needs out to the year 2040.
  • The Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) document provides an analysis of potential environmental impacts related to the implementation of the RTP/SCS as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (additional EIR description below).
  • The Draft 2015 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (2015 FTIP) is a near-term listing of capital improvement and operational expenditures utilizing federal and state monies for transportation projects in Fresno County during the next four years. 
  • The corresponding Draft Air Quality Conformity Analysis for the 2015 FTIP and 2014 RTP/SCS contains the documentation to support a finding that the 2015 FTIP and 2014 RTP/SCS meet the air quality conformity requirements for carbon monoxide, ozone and particulate matter.

A public hearing to receive public comments on these documents was held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 during the Fresno COG Policy Board Meeting.  An Informational Meeting was held for elected officials during the Policy Board Meeting, just prior to the public hearing. An additional public hearing was scheduled to receive public comments on the Draft 2014 Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) on May 7, 2014 in Selma. The 2014 RTP and associated documents is scheduled for adoption by the Policy Board on June 26, 2014.

The following four RTP policy issues have been discussed at the PAC Subcommittee and are on the agenda this month as an action item to be resolved prior to next month’s scheduled  RTP adoption.  

Summary:  On November 21, 2013, the Fresno COG Policy Board approved the draft Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) for the 2014 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The Board also directed the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) to further explore four policy related proposals received during the planning process.  A PAC subcommittee was formed to address this direction and concluded in March that staff should come back to the subcommittee with action items on all four proposals. Background material on all four proposals is attached to the agenda.  Staff is reviewing the RTP Policy Element (Chapter 6) to see if there’s a possibility to mention COG’s intentions with regard to some of these issues.

1.     City/County Discussion on the Sustainable Communities Strategy and Future Transportation Investments

This proposal evolved from email discussions among PAC members (City Managers and County CAO) during October and November 2013. 

 (The final iteration on this email thread, submitted by Fresno County, is intended to reflect the importance and communicate clearly that COG is not a regional land use agency.  COG’s primary functions are transportation planning and programming.  This distinction is critical and should be kept at the forefront as we move forward.) 

In compliance with California’s SB375, the Fresno COG Policy Board adopted Scenario B for its preferred Sustainable Communities Strategy.  Scenario B accomplishes the following:

  • Maintains consistency with current planning assumptions made by the member agencies;
  • Allocates growth according to historical trends;
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 9% by 2020 and 11% by 2035;
  • Balances increased densities with traditional growth patterns;
  • Improves Transit Oriented Development by 21.3%; and
  • Reduces consumption of important farmland by almost 90%.

In addition, the COG Board directed the PAC to continue discussions with stakeholders that include LAFCo, school districts, CBOs, and other interested parties that will provide guidance for the implementation of the COG’s transportation program, regional transportation planning, and future SB 375 initiatives utilizing the following policy statements as guidance.  The COG Board further directed the PAC to evaluate the following policy statements and others suggested by stakeholders and bring back recommendations to the COG Board for final adoption as part of the next Regional Transportation Plan Update.

1)     SB 375 provides the COG Policy Board, PAC and TTC with the opportunity to engage in meaningful policy discussions about regional transportation planning and future SB 375 implementation.

2)     The COG Policy Board recognizes the importance of engaging a wide range of community organizations in the review and development of the Regional Transportation Plan.

3)     Scenario B depends on the passage and implementation of each local jurisdiction’s current planning assumptions. The COG Policy Board affirms the importance of each local jurisdiction’s land use authority, and land use plans that are the basis of Scenario B and urges their adoption and full implementation at the local level.

4)     The COG Policy Board prioritizes the usage of regional transportation funds to meet the priorities identified by existing cities and the County.

5)     The COG Policy Board recognizes the wide range of challenges facing all communities and cities in Fresno County, ranging from employment opportunities, access to health services, housing, revenues, sewer, water, transportation and other needs. As a region, we are fully committed to supporting all communities and cities in ensuring the sustainability of their future.

Action:  Staff, the PAC Subcommittee and the full Policy Advisory Committee recommend that the Fresno COG Policy Board endorse the five policy statement above.

2.     Proposed Sustainable Planning and Infrastructure Program

The stated purpose of this program is to support the implementation of Fresno COG’s Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) by enhancing the ability of existing neighborhoods to serve as walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented or transit-ready areas for people of all incomes via funding the development of necessary plans, projects and programs.

Reference to this proposal is mentioned in Chapter 7 of the RTP (section 7.7):

During the 2014 RTP planning process, interested members of the community discussed the need for a Sustainable Planning and Infrastructure Program to further complement the goals of the RTP/SCS. The purpose of such a program would be to support and enhance the implementation of the SCS across Fresno County. The implementation of such a program would be of great value for the Fresno County region; however, in order to undergo such a process to create a new regional program, extensive coordination between stakeholders, local member agencies, project sponsors and the COG Policy Board is needed to allow for a transparent and equitable approach. In addition, a funding structure is needed to implement this type of program, and Fresno COG staff as well as members from interested community based organizations, are exploring possible funding streams. Fresno COG is committed to continuing to work with member agencies and other stakeholders to develop and implement a new funding program in the near future.

Action:  Staff, the PAC Subcommittee and the full Policy Advisory Committee recommend that the Fresno COG Policy Board direct staff to develop a funding program that supports the implementation of the Sustainable Communities Strategy and explore new and/or existing funding sources to fund and implement the program.  This program development should follow the completion of the needs assessment (in item 3 below). The needs assessment will help identify and develop goals, and objectives, which would then be the tools used to develop and justify funding/scoring criteria and “measurable” performance metrics

3.  Needs Assessment Proposal

The stated purpose of this proposal: In a step towards region wide sustainability and improved public health, we request that Fresno COG partner with member jurisdictions, government agencies (e.g. Fresno County Public Health), non-profit organizations, and interested stakeholders to evaluate existing needs in Fresno’s disadvantaged communities. This can be done through a needs assessment database of existing built environment conditions and current health status in low income communities. Low income communities have considerably higher negative health outcomes and typically have significant unmet needs related to their built environment, often lacking paved roads, sidewalks, adequate transit, access to basic services, safe drinking water, affordable housing, wastewater services, and access to health care services.

Staff believes that a modified version of this proposal is feasible. A county-wide needs assessment would be helpful to the development of the program requested in proposal 2 above. The information would also be valuable for other COG functions. As a good faith measure, Fresno COG has already programmed $100,000 in Work Element 313 (Environmental Justice) of the 2014-15 Overall Work Program to conduct a needs assessment. We must be cautious, however, because COG cannot spend its “PL Funds” on non-transportation planning related activities. In addition, staff believes that a scope change would require other agencies to provide information from their databases, access to which could be provided in the report on the transportation related data. The request for COG to “develop an action plan” would not be part of the Needs Assessment but could be addressed at a later date once the needs assessment data is analyzed and the member agencies are agreeable.

Action:   Staff, the PAC Subcommittee and the full Policy Advisory Committee recommend that the Fresno COG Policy Board direct staff to conduct a county-wide transportation needs assessment and evaluate such needs in Fresno County’s disadvantaged communities.  COG will work with partnering agencies who may already have existing relevant data.

 4.    Natural and Working Lands Conservation Policy

According to the proponent, there are two parts to this proposal. The first part would be a binding policy applying to projects on the RTP transportation project list. The second part asks that the COG work with local land use jurisdictions on policies to reduce land conversion. The purpose of both is to protect farmland, ranchland, and natural lands in the County while incentivizing the efficient use of land and helping transportation projects through the CEQA process.

Regarding the binding policy, COG staff notes that approval of transportation projects typically occurs by individual member agencies independent of COG.  The transportation project approval process also requires compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  If the transportation project is not exempt from CEQA, the member agency (lead agency as defined by CEQA) must evaluate, consider and mitigate, to the extent feasible, all environmental impacts associated with the proposed project.  Categories required to be evaluated under CEQA, in part, include, Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Biological Resources, Recreation, Cultural Resources, and Mineral Resources.  Having a COG policy that requires mandatory mitigation as proposed by the proponent, could be seen as an appropriation of the lead agency’s authority conferred to local governments by CEQA (state law), may result in inconsistencies with the lead agency’s CEQA document and findings, and could likely result in duplication of efforts.  

Subcommittee members expressed that the terms “ranchland,” “working lands,” and “natural lands” are not otherwise used to describe important farmlands and their acceptance without constructive evaluation may exceed the intent of statutes expressly developed to guide agency decision making.

As to COG working with its member agencies to continue exploring this issue, this can occur by working collaboratively with the community-based organizations, interested stakeholders and professional staff.  An in-depth discussion on the issue can take place with member agencies and other stakeholder groups to explore the formulation of policy and program language to:

  • Develop a methodology to help member agencies quantify the conversion of prime farmland, unique farmland, farmland of statewide importance, and farmland of local importance, as shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the State’s Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program, associated with their proposed projects.
  • Develop a methodology for member agencies to consider preservation policies and actions that minimize loss of prime farmland, unique farmland, farmland of statewide importance, and farmland of local importance; and coordinate efforts to provide a mechanism for preservation activities.

Action:  Staff, the PAC Subcommittee and the full Policy Advisory Committee do not recommend approval of the proposed Natural and Working Lands Conservation Policy as submitted.  However, if there is interest in evaluating possible policy options regarding farmland preservation, staff recommends that the Fresno COG Policy Board direct staff to establish an ad hoc committee to assist member agencies in identifying potential policies and actions to minimize the loss of farmland associated with the construction of transportation facilities.     

Fresno Council of Governments Active Transportation Program (ATP) Guidelines REVISED 5-27-14[Garza/Monge] [APPROVE]

Summary: On September 26, 2013, Governor Brown signed legislation creating the Active Transportation Program (ATP).  The ATP consolidates existing federal and state transportation programs, including the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), and State Safe Routes to School (SR2S), into a single program with a focus on active transportation and encouraging increased use of active modes of transportation like biking and walking.

The program funds for this new program are divided amongst the state and regions.  The California Transportation Commission (CTC) developed guidelines for the program that are consistent with the federal TAP requirements.  On March 21, 2014 the State issued a call for projects that will close on May 21, 2014.  The state has set-aside funding for Safe Routes to School, Disadvantaged Communities and Active Transportation Plans. 

With the statewide program preceding the MPO regional program, Fresno COG was directed to work with local agencies and active transportation interest groups to convene  a new multidisciplinary ATP advisory group. The multidisciplinary ATP advisory group includes representation from Caltrans, local jurisdictions, and community members who developed the project evaluation criteria and will select projects that meet the goals of the program when the call for regional projects closes. 

The group met on April 29th and met again on May 2nd in effort to finalize the Fresno COG Regional ATP Guidelines with scoring criteria along with an application and supplemental application in preparation for the administration of the “Regional” ATP call for projects. The group will ultimately be responsible for the selection of recommended projects through the competitive funding process.  There are $3.9 million available for Fresno COG to award of which $983,000 (25%) must benefit disadvantaged communities. 

The multidisciplinary advisory group, in conjunction with the programming subcommittee, the TTC and PAC make the following recommendations and request approval of the Fresno COG Regional Competitive ATP Guidelines with scoring criteria. An application and a supplemental application will be forthcoming.

  1. No minimum project cost requirement for the Fresno COG regional competitive call for projects
  2. ALL applicants must commit to provide a local match for each project submitted.
  3. No set-aside for the development of Active Transportation Plans. 15% of the Regional ATP funds will NOT be set-aside for the development of Active Transportation Plans. It is the intent. It is anticipated that the California Transportation Commission will require that all applicants have an Active Transportation Plan in place in order to qualify for future funding cycles; therefore,  Fresno COG has identified planning funds in the FY 14/15 OWP to fund and develop a “Regional Active Transportation Plan” so that all member agencies can benefit and qualify for future funding. 
  4. Added new criteria that would provide 10 points for projects that are shovel ready.  If the project is to be considered “shovel ready”, the applicant must provide copies of the fully executed NEPA document and the fully executed right of way certification.
  5. Under the purview of the COG Policy Board not requiring CTC approval, FCOG encourages a maximum project award of $1 million per project due to the fact that we are only receiving $3.9 million in Regional ATP funds. 

 It was also recommended by the multidisciplinary advisory group, TTC and PAC, that the Fresno COG Executive Director receive director delegated authority for non-substantive changes to the guidelines and corresponding application as well as provide for a contingency project list in case a selected and approved project fails and cannot be completed. 

 Program Schedule

The guidelines for the initial two-year program of projects were adopted on March 20, 2014 by the CTC.  Subsequent programs must be adopted not later than April 1 of each odd-numbered year; however, the CTC may alternatively elect to adopt a program annually.

The following schedule lists the major milestones for the development and implementation of the 2014 Active Transportation Program:

  • Notify CTC of FCOG supplemental ATP – April 22, 2014-Done
  • FCOG ATP DRAFT Guidelines to TTC/PAC for approval – May 9, 2014
  • Submit FCOG DRAFT ATP guidelines to CTC – May 21, 2014
  • FCOG ATP Guidelines to FCOG Policy Board for adoption – May 28, 2014
  • CTC approves or rejects FCOG Final Guidelines – June 25, 2014
  • FCOG ATP Call for Projects – June 26-August 27, 2014
  • CTC staff recommendation for statewide and rural/small urban portions of ATP – August 8, 2014
  • CTC Adopts statewide and rural/small urban portions of ATP – August 20, 2014
  • Projects not selected in statewide program are distributed to MPOs – August 20, 2014
  • FCOG Multidisciplinary Advisory Group scores MPO level projects – September 4, 2014
  • FCOG selected projects to TTC/PAC for approval – September 12, 2014
  • FCOG selected projects to FCOG Policy Board – September 25, 2014
  • Deadline for MPO project programming recommendations to CTC – September 30, 2014
  • CTC adopts MPO selected projects – November 2014
  • FCOG programs selected ATP projects in 2015 FTIP-Immediately after it is approved by FHWA.

REMINDER: Per the CTC’s 2014 ATP Guidelines and schedule, agencies will have two separate opportunities to fund ATP eligible projects. The first is as part of the statewide ATP call for projects and the second is as part of Fresno COG Regional ATP call for projects. However, we have encouraged all agencies to compete in the statewide call for projects instead of waiting for the Fresno COG Regional ATP call for projects.

Action: The multi-disciplinary advisory group, in conjunction with the programming subcommittee, the TTC and PAC recommend approval of the Fresno COG Competitive ATP Guidelines that includes scoring criteria, and will include an application and a supplemental application.  Direction may be provided at the discretion of the Policy Board.

FY 2013-14 CMAQ Project Recommendations from the CMAQ Scoring Committee [Dawson] [APPROVE]

Summary: On September 26, 2013 the Fresno COG Policy Board issued a formal call-for-projects for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) regional bid and lifeline process.  The available funding for this round of CMAQ Regional Bid projects is $18,547,495.  We received 59 applications requesting over $59 million in funding. On April 28, 2014 The CMAQ Scoring Committee (as appointed by the Programming Sub-committee) convened and made their recommendations.  The CMAQ Scoring Committee’s recommendations were then reviewed by the Programming Sub-committee on May 1, 2014.  The Scoring Committee recommendations are included as an Exhibit to this item.

Action: TTC/PAC and Staff recommend approval of the scoring committee’s recommendations for the 2013-14 CMAQ call-for-projects.  Approved projects will be programmed for funding in the 2015 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP).

San Joaquin Valley Model Improvements Contract Amendment [Bitner] [AUTHORIZE]


Summary: On May 1, 2014 the Valley COG Directors unanimously agreed to amend the San Joaquin Valley MPO Transportation Model Improvements contract to include additional model training for the 8 Valley MPO modeling staff.

It has long been the desire of the Valley MPOs to rely less on modeling consultants and more on our own modeling staff. Educational courses in transportation modeling are few and far between, and most modelers learn on the job. As the complexity of the Valley models increases, so does the need for ongoing training for the Valley MPO modeling staff.

This training will provide basic to advanced training for Valley MPO modelers. The ultimate goal is a Valley MPO operated training “Academy” with an ongoing training program operated by Valley modeling staff.  This will greatly improve the MPO modeling staff’s ability to utilize and understand the new Valley MIP transportation models.

The Valley COG Directors unanimously accepted a proposal that was negotiated with Fehr & Peers in the amount of $71,928 for additional training for Valley MPO modelers.

Fehr & Peers has extensive expertise in travel demand modeling and is developer of the new Valley MPO traffic models and is currently under contract to update each of the MPO models.

Funding for the project is entirely from Proposition 84 Round 2 funds. These funds were awarded to the San Joaquin Valley MPOs for model development and data gathering to meet the requirements of SB 375. The grant funds can only be spent on Valleywide modeling improvements.

Action:  The Valley COG Directors, Fresno COG Staff and TTC/PAC recommend that the Policy Board authorize a $71,928 contract amendment with Fehr & Peers for development and implementation of model training for Valley MPO modeling staff.

Caltrans Report [CALTRANS]


Summary:  Caltrans staff will provide a verbal update. The Caltrans Quarterly Report is included as an exhibit.

Action: This is an information item.  Direction may be given at the discretion of the Policy Board.

Fresno COG Sitting as the Fresno Council of Governments Policy Board



About Consent Items:

All items on the consent agenda are considered to be routine and non-controversial by COG staff and will be approved by one motion if no member of the Committee or public wishes to comment or ask questions.  If comment or discussion is desired by anyone, the item will be removed from the consent agenda and will be considered in the listed sequence with an opportunity for any member of the public to address the Committee concerning the item before action is taken.

Executive Minutes of April 24, 2014 [APPROVE]


FY 2013-14 Third Quarter Progress Report [Beshears][ACCEPT]


Summary: The FY 2013-14 third quarter progress report is included for review and acceptance. 

Action: TTC, PAC and Staff recommend acceptance of the FY 2013-14 Third Quarter Progress Report.

Monthly Legislative Update [Garza] [INFORMATION]


The State Assembly and Senate are now in session

The United States House of Representative and Senate are now in session

To locate current and past year state bill information go to the Official California Legislative Information webpage at:

To locate current and past year federal bill information go to THOMAS, The Library of Congress’s bill information website (in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson) at:

Please contact staff person, Melissa Garza, if you have any questions or comments.

Action: Information.  Direction may be provided at the discretion of the Policy Board.

Senator Andy Vidak: SB 990: Transportation Funds for Disadvantaged Small Communities [Garza] [INFORMATION]

Summary: This bill would require no less than 5% of funds available for regional improvement projects to be programmed in the regional transportation improvement program (RTIP), also referred to as the region’s STIP, for disadvantaged small communities. In programming these funds, the bill would require regional transportation agencies and county transportation commissions to prioritize funding congestion relief and safety needs. The bill defines a disadvantaged small community as a city or census-designated place with fewer than 25,000 residents and with a median household income less than 80 percent of the statewide median household income.  Fresno COG staff worked with Senator Vidak’s staff on ways to modify this bill. It failed in committee but the request to be heard one more time was granted. Enclosed is the bill language and the bill analysis prepared by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

Action:  Information. PAC recommended no action and that staff continue to monitor this bill.

Regional Clearinghouse [Arnest] [APPROVE]





Emergency Community Water Assistance

City of Orange Cove

Summary:  Your agenda package includes this month’s Clearinghouse Calendar containing “Project Notification and Review Reports” for grant proposal.

  1. Emergency Community Water Assistance – purchase of raw water – Federal: $390,000, - Total $390,000 

Action:  Per Board procedure, unless an item is pulled from the Consent Calendar, tacit authorization is given for staff to forward any comment(s) received, or any Committee/Board comment(s) generated as a result of this informational item, to the appropriate agency. It is understood that if in the event this item should be pulled from the consent calendar, discussion and comment by the Committee members and the public will be taken.                  


FY 2014-15 Overall Work Program and Budget - Resolution 2014-06 [Boren] [APPROVE]

Summary:  This year’s budget total reflects a decrease of 9% ($1,285,551) from the approved FY 2013-14 budget.  This decrease is largely a factor of projects in the FTA 5316 & 5317 (JARRC and New Freedom) programs as they draw down on existing grants.  Map 21 discontinued the 5316 & 5317 programs, therefore we will be winding those programs down in future budgets. Last year we also had a major expense programmed for our RTP update that is not programmed this year. The overall budget reduction is also representative of the partial completion of State planning grants that are carried over into the new year’s budget at lesser amounts. Operational revenues remain intact, reserves are adequate and the agency continues to operate within the bounds of prudent management.

Federal revenues decreased 6% ($401,029) reflecting the previously mentioned FTA 5316 & 5317 draw downs and also a reduction in reserves for FTA 5303 and FHWA PL in accordance with FHWA’s request that we minimize federal planning funds left on the table. Our current year apportionment estimates are still strong. State revenues decreased 20% ($422,442) largely due to completion of Phase I SCS activities that were funded with a Department of Conservation Grant, and also partial completion of and Environmental Justice Grant for the Ventura/Kings Canyon Corridor.  Local revenues decreased 12%, ($462,080) a significant part of which is matching revenues from project sponsors for the above mentioned FTA 5316 & 5317 projects. LTF Administration declined $33,000 reflecting completion of the prior year performance audit. Local Measure C revenues increased $415,065 to fund a $100,000 update to the RTMF Nexus and also due to increased utilization of our Taxi Scrip and Farm Worker Vanpool programs.

A memorandum highlighting changes is enclosed and the Final FY 2014-15 OWP is on our website and is available by hard copy upon request. 

Action: TTC, PAC and Staff recommend approval of Resolution 2014-06 approving the FY 2014-15 Overall Work Program and Budget. 

Draft 2014 Federal Legislative Platform for Valley Voice DC – Valley Voice [Garza][APPROVE]


Summary: The Regional Policy Council, in coordination with the San Joaquin Valley Regional Planning Agencies, has drafted the 2014 San Joaquin Valley Legislative Platform that reflects the Regional Policy Council’s priorities in federal legislative matters for the Valley Voice DC trip.  The platform is intended to provide a unified voice when communicating legislative issues of regional importance to the Valley’s federal legislative delegation as well as relevant federal agencies.

The 2014 Draft Legislative Regional Priorities are:

Goods Movement    

  • Continue to protect and solicit funding for Highway 99, a major trade corridor in the San Joaquin Valley and other regionally significant transportation corridors.
  • Build upon the success and implement the 2013 San Joaquin Valley Interregional Goods Movement Plan as resources become available.
  • Identify long term federal funding for goods movement in the San Joaquin Valley, including freight rail.
  • Support TIGER grants for rail upgrades.

MAP-21 Implementation

  • Continue bridge replacement and rehabilitation funding through the Surface Transportation Program, while including “off system” bridges.

Future Federal Transportation Reauthorization Bill

  • Support reauthorization of Federal Transportation Bill identifying long-term funding sources for all modes of transportation.  
  • Support inclusion and funding for the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.
  • Maintain current MPO population thresholds.
  • Encourage the continuation of dedicated funding for bridges such as the Highway Bridge Program, in addition to the set-aside for bridges located on public roads.

Air Quality

  • Support the continued effort for the Air and Health Quality Empowerment Zone designation to provide new incentive funding and tax incentives to address impacts of nonattainment of federally mandated air quality standards in the San Joaquin Valley.

Action: Approval of the Draft 2014 Federal Legislative Platform for Valley Voice DC. Direction may be provided at the discretion of the Policy Board.  

Assemblymember Henry Perea: AB 2728 Redirecting Truck Weight Fees: General Fund Debt Service [Garza] [AUTHORIZE]

Summary:  Assemblymembers Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) and Eric Linder (R-Corona) announced that Assembly Bill (AB) 2728 passed out of the Assembly Committee on Transportation. AB 2728 would provide funding to rehabilitate California’s dilapidated roadways. This bill would, until January 1, 2019, prohibit weight fee revenues from being transferred from the State Highway Account to the Transportation Debt Service Fund, the Transportation Bond Direct Payment Account, or any other fund or account for the purpose of payment of the debt service on transportation general obligation bonds, and would also prohibit loans of weight fee revenues to the General Fund.

Existing law imposes weight fees on the registration of commercial motor vehicles and provides for the deposit of net weight fee revenues into the State Highway Account (SHA). Existing law also provides for the transfer of certain weight fee revenues from the SHA to the Transportation Debt Service Fund to reimburse the General Fund for payment of debt service on general obligation bonds issued for transportation purposes. Existing law also provides for the transfer of certain weight fee revenues to the Transportation Bond Direct Payment Account for direct payment of debt service on designated bonds, which are defined to be certain transportation general obligation bonds issued pursuant to Proposition 1B of 2006. Existing law also provides for loans of weight fee revenue revenues to the General Fund to the extent the revenues are not needed for bond debt service purposes, with the loans to be repaid when the revenues are later needed for those purposes, as specified.

Weight fees generate over $900,000 annually.  The use of weight fees to pay for debt service is part of a larger budgetary and statutory arrangement referred to as the gas tax swap.  ABX8 6 (Committee on Budget), Chapter 11, Statutes of 2010 enacted the original gas tax swap.  That bill eliminated the sales tax on gasoline and replaced it with an increase in gasoline excise tax designed to generate an equivalent amount of revenue.  Among its many provisions, the original gas tax swap created a new, non-General Fund revenue stream of about $1 billion annually from the new price-based excise tax.  That money was originally used to repay the General Fund's cost of debt service on transportation bonds. 

Later in 2010, voters approved Proposition 22 which prohibits excise tax revenues from being used to pay debt service on transportation bonds.  As a result of this restriction, excise tax revenue could no longer be used for General Fund relief.  In response, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed a reconstituted gas tax swap, AB 105 (Committee on Budget), Chapter 6, Statutes of 2012.  Under the reenacted gas tax swap, weight fee revenue rather than excise tax revenue is used to provide General Fund relief for debt service on transportation bonds.

According to Assemblymember Perea, in the three years since the gas tax swap was enacted, the economy improved and voters approved Proposition 30 (2012) which increased sales and income taxes thereby boosting General Fund coffers.  He believes that it is appropriate now to recapture truck weight fee revenue and use it to fix the state's roadway system. 

Related legislation:

AB 2651(Linder) is nearly identical to this bill except that it becomes operational January 1, 2016 and continues indefinitely.  AB 2651 was set to be heard in this committee but was pulled from the hearing at the request of the author who will be added as the joint author to AB 2728. 

SB 1418 (DeSaulnier) effectively accomplishes the same thing that AB 2651 and AB 2728 do but does it by repealing specific provisions that enacted the weight fee revenue transfer and the SHA backfill.  SB 1418 was sent to suspense and will be heard on May 23rd. 

Action:   The PAC and Staff recommend authorizing the Policy Board chair to sign a letter in support of AB 2728 (Perea) which would recapture Truck Weight Fee revenues and would redirect them to fund transportation projects.

California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley - Board Nomination [Boren] [DIRECTION]

Summary:  The issue under consideration is Fresno County's public sector representation on the Partnership Board.  As a matter of background, Judy Case McNairy has represented Fresno County on the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley (Partnership) Board of Director. Supervisor Case McNairy's term on the Fresno Board of Supervisors is expiring soon. The Fresno Council of Governments is identified as the vetting agency for the nomination of elected official (public sector) to the Partnership Board. The nominations are reviewed by the State and final appointment made by the Governor. The Governor asks that we (you) provide three nominees and that we (you) prioritize them. Below is an overview on submitting an application for nomination to the Partnership Board.

In brief, the process includes the following:

1.            Complete the online application located at:  
2.            Include with the application a letter of interest in the position and a current resume or bio
3.            Start gathering two-three reference letters that may be requested by the Appointment Unit at a later date.
4.            Send a copy of items 1-3 above to:

Office of Community & Economic Development
California State University, Fresno
5010 N Woodrow Ave Suite 200 M/S WC142
Fresno CA 93740

Direct  559-294-6027 | Cell  559-696-2524

Action:  Request that the COG Policy Board submit a prioritized list of three elected officials for consideration for a seat on the California Partnership Board.


Items from Staff

Items from Members



This portion of the meeting is reserved for persons wishing to address the Policy Board on items within its jurisdiction but not on this agenda.  Note:  Prior to action by the Policy Board on any item on this agenda, the public may comment on that item.  Unscheduled comments may be limited to 3 minutes.