Fresno COG Header
Fresno COG Policy Board

Thursday, May 28, 2020
5:30 PM

COG Ash 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 auxiliary 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.



Joining the Meeting:

Meeting ID: 985 5309 8196
Password: 636165

Dial-in number:  (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 985 5309 8196
Password: 636165


If you wish to address Policy Board during the public comment portion of the agenda, click on the icon labeled “Participants” at the bottom center of your PC or Mac screen. At the bottom of the window on the right side of the screen, click the icon labeled “RaiseHand”. Your digital hand will now be raised.


Join by Phone


Meeting ID: 985 5309 81
Password: 636165


If you wish to address the Policy Board during the public comment portion of the agenda, Press *9 and we will select you from the meeting cue.


Those addressing the Policy Board must state their name for the record.


To facilitate electronic access, no person shall speak until recognized by the Chair.


Fresno County Rural Transit Agency Meeting Package - Meeting will follow Policy Board Meeting



I.Sitting as the Fresno County Mayors City Selection Committee (Excludes County of Fresno)

Call Meeting to Order and Roll Call


Approval of the February 27, 2020, Minutes

Appoint one (1) Eastside Member to the Fresno County Transportation Authority, term effective June 30, 2020, replacing David Cardenas, whose term will expire June 30, 2020. The new term to expire June 30, 2022.


This portion of the meeting is reserved for person desiring to address the City Selection Committee on any matter the committee has jurisdiction over which is not on this agenda.



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 Policy Board 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 Policy Board concerning the item before action is taken.

Executive Minutes of April 10, 2020 [APPROVE]


County of Fresno Transportation Development Act Claim (Les Beshears) [APPROVE]

Approve Resolution 2020-12 adopting the County of Fresno's 2019-20 Transportation Development Act claims totaling $8,398,962.

Circuit Planner and Engineer - Update on Current Tasks (Braden Duran) [INFORMATION]

Summary: This is an update on those tasks underway through Fresno COG's Circuit Planner and Engineer Program, which provides technical assistance to the small cities in Fresno County. Such assistance may include, but is not limited to: planning studies, delivering projects, grant applications, environmental documents, engineering services, etc.

Circuit Planning & Engineering

  • Reedley Manning/Buttonwillow Master Plan Assistance – Rincon and VSCE met with the City of Reedley staff to develop the project site plan. Staff discussed City needs and opportunities with the project site, including incorporating the Reedley Trail, which supports Blueprint principals to improve active transportation. VSCE has prepared a draft site plan and with Rincon are developing draft concepts.
Consultants are reaching out to additional cities on potential projects previously identified.

Circuit Planning

  • Coalinga – Rincon completed the request for proposals for Coalinga Trails CEQA/NEPA analysis, and the City released the RFP in April.
  • Sanger zoning review – Collins & Schoettler have completed Sanger’s zoning review and have submitted the report to the City of Sanger and Fresno COG.

Circuit Engineering

Conducting the active transportation counts listed below have been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cities have requested this as the traffic counts will not reflect normal conditions during this time.

  • Fowler – VSCE is developing a plan for conducting Active Transportation Program (bike/ped) counts
  • Mendota - VSCE is developing a plan for conducting Active Transportation Program (bike/ped) counts
  • Firebaugh – VSCE continues to coordinate with staff on potential projects.
Fresno COG and the Circuit Planning & Engineering team are reaching back out to the cities and exploring additional opportunities to assist these cities in light of the above work being put on hold.

Action: Information. The Board may provide additional direction at its discretion.

Notice of Funding Availability Transit-Oriented Development Housing Program Round 4 (Trai Her-Cole) [INFORMATION]

Summary: The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has released its Round 4 Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Housing Program final guidelines and Notice of Funding Availability for approximately $141 million. The Transit-Oriented Development Housing Program promotes public transit and aims to stimulate affordable housing developments near transit stations. Under the program, low-interest loans are available as gap financing for rental housing developments that include affordable units. Grants are available to cities, counties, and transit agencies for infrastructure improvements necessary for specified housing developments or to facilitate connections between these developments and the transit station.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. July 30, 2020.

A NOFA webinar will be held at 9 a.m. on May 19, 2020. Register for the webinar at  

Action: Information. The Board may provide direction at its discretion. 


Obligational Authority and Project Delivery Update (Jennifer Soliz) [INFORMATION]

Summary: On April 1, 2020, Fresno COG staff submitted the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2019/20 Obligation Plan to Caltrans's Division of Local Assistance. This plan documents Fresno COG’s estimated project delivery for the remainder of 2019/20. The obligational authority (OA) target for 2019/20 is $27,758,441.

As of March 31, 2020, only $7,418,221 or 26.7 percent of Federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program and Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding had been obligated, leaving our region with an estimated OA balance of $20,340,220. The obligation plan outlines approximately $18 million in additional, combined CMAQ and STBG, which is still short of the remaining OA target.

In April, COG staff met with all local agencies to discuss their obligation plans and any changes to programmed projects. Approximately $3.9 million in projects will be delayed, and another $2.5 million were expedited to offset those delays. These changes are reflected on the quarterly report attached. In January, staff reviewed the 2019/20 OA plan and determined the region was on track to exceed its OA target by 1 percent. With the delays and other changes, staff is now projecting a delivery rate of 93.9 percent. 

The FFY ends September 30, 2020; however, as of May 1, the federal funds become available to the rest of the state on a first-come, first-served basis. Per Caltrans HQ and Local Assistance, the state is anticipating OA will be exhausted by mid-May. This is much earlier than we have seen in previous years, and projects not submitted to Caltrans for authorization by May 1 are at risk of being delayed.

It is the state’s goal to exceed the OA target and, in August, receive additional federal funds redistributed from other states to projects pending authorization. We encourage all agencies to submit their Requests for Authorization as soon as possible to get in the queue for the funds that will become available. If projects do not receive authorization approval after August, they will be delayed to October 2020, the next federal fiscal year. 

Please keep Fresno COG staff updated on any changes that could  impact the region’s project delivery plan. Contact Jennifer Soliz at 559-233-4148 ext. 223 or with any questions regarding fiscal year deadlines or the process of obligating project funds.  

Action: Information/discussion. The Board may provide additional direction at its discretion.

Regional Transportation Plan Roundtable Public-At-Large Applicant Selection (Brenda Veenendaal) [APPROVE]

Summary:  Fresno COG's Policy Board approved its 2022 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Roundtable positions in February 2020 with the caveat that all public-at-large applications be screened by COG staff, appointment recommendations be forwarded to the TTC and PAC for review and recommendation, and the Policy Board grant final approval at its May meeting. The first Roundtable meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. on June 24.

The Roundtable supports Fresno COG staff and COG standing committees in developing the 2022 RTP and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS).  It is vital to the process that the Roundtable generates consensus about the plans, based upon the input of an informed and active local constituency. While the Roundtable will provide comments and input on issues related to the 2022 RTP/SCS, the final decisions on RTP content will be the Policy Board's responsibility.

COG staff released the RTP Roundtable application on March 3, 2020, for those positions that are not appointed by a local or public agency. Three public-at-large applications were received for review and approval, and have been attached. The applicants are:

  • Gail Miller, retired, District Deputy Director, Caltrans 
  • Jim Hunter, Senior Managing Consultant (semi-retired) for Knowledge Solutions Group
  • Sal Petrucelli, retired, Longs Drugs/CVS Pharmacy management (application to follow)

Action: Staff, TTC and PAC request that the Policy Board approve the recommended RTP Roundtable's public-at-large appointments.

Fresno COG’s Draft 2020 Public Participation Plan – Public Hearing (Brenda Veenendaal) [ACTION]

Summary: Fresno Council of Governments released its draft 2020 Public Participation Plan (PPP) for a 45-day public review and comment period from March 3, 2020 through April 17, 2020. In addition, a public hearing was scheduled and publicly noticed for the March 2020 Policy Board meeting. However, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the March board meeting was cancelled. The PPP public hearing was renoticed for May 2020. 

Fresno COG publicized the public review and comment period, as well as the public hearing, as follows:

  • Fresno Bee public notices published on April 22, 2020 and March 3, 2020
  • Vida En El Valle public notices published on April 29, 2020 and March 11, 2020
  • Coming Up At Fresno COG enewsletter articles requesting feedback, providing links to the PPP documents and notification of the public comment period and public hearing were sent out on February 6, March 9, April 16, and May 11 to more than 3,000 subscribers. The average open rate on the enewsletters is 22 percent.
  • The draft document and all public notices were published at on March 3, 2020 and remain on the Get Involved webpage today
  • Notice of the 45-day review period and public hearings was published on TTC, PAC and Policy Board agendas during the months of March, April and May 2020.

 To date, no comments have been received regarding the plan. 

As publicly noticed, comments are welcomed at the May public hearing or may be submitted in writing for Policy Board consideration via mail or email to the following staff member prior to the hearing date:

Brenda Veenendaal, Fresno COG Administrative Services Manager

2035 Tulare Street, Suite 201, Fresno, CA 93721


The PPP is a plan intended to give Fresno COG's Policy Board and staff guidance in providing for public involvement and interagency consultation early and often during the regional planning process. It contains policies, guidelines, processes and procedures Fresno COG commits to implementing while seeking and fostering open public involvement during the decision-making process, regarding all matters within discretion. The PPP also identifies opportunities to be involved in the metropolitan transportation planning process.

After addressing all submitted comments, the Policy Board will consider adopting, by resolution, the 2020 Public Participation Plan on June 25, 2020. All documents are available for review or download at or in hard copy at Fresno COG's offices.

Action: Open the public hearing, receive comments, and close the public hearing.  The Board may provide additional direction at its discretion.

FINAL 2020-21 Overall Work Program and Budget (Robert Phipps) [APPROVE]

Summary:  The fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 Overall Work Program (OWP), totaling $21,737,779, is submitted for approval. The proposed budget increased $1,524,545 from last year. 

Federal revenues decreased 19 percent ($1,137,460). FTA 5304 decreased $269,372, reflecting progress on the Better Blackstone Challenge. Projects funded by FTA Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities program decreased $494,705 reflecting programmed bus procurements for transit agencies while FTA Section 5316 & FTA Section 5317 were reduced by $156,281 as grants funded by the discontinued JARC and New Freedom program are closed out. Federal planning funds decreased $349,461 as carryover FHWA PL and FTA 5303 balances are spent down.

State revenues increased 257 percent ($4,588,834). The largest portion of this increase centers around the State Regional Early Action Planning Program (REAP) which provides $4,749,860 to Fresno and Central Valley MPOs to develop a Valleywide plan for housing. Also, STIP planning funds ($399,000) were reinstated in the 2018 STIP to fund FCOG’s stewardship of the multi-million dollar federal aid projects allocated to local agencies in Fresno County. State Highway account, SPR, and RMRA funding all decreased a total of $569,421, reflecting progress on programmed projects.  

Local revenues decreased 15 percent ($1,834,556), reflecting drawdowns on Measure C funded projects such as the significant design phase of the Golden State corridor, Fresno State Transportation Institute, and FCRTA electric vehicle purchases.

Staff activity surrounding the Measure C III reauthorization will also be a major initiative for 2020-21.

Staffing & Benefits:

There are no new Fresno COG planning positions included in this year’s proposed budget. FCRTA reclassified an Administrative Assistant position to Operations Manager and added an accounting position. Contingencies are carried for merit-based salary increases as well as contingencies for anticipated health insurance increases. The overall proposed budget for salaries increased by 8 percent and benefits by 11 percent.

Overhead Accounts:

Overhead accounts increased by 4 percent ($18,793 total) reflecting increases in computer supplies ($5,000), building maintenance ($1,000), and travel ($11,500). The office lease also was adjusted up $8,937 per the existing contract. Another $7,644 in audit expenses were reallocated to a direct program.


The overall consulting budget is $4.8 million, which is a decrease of $744,846 corresponding to projects associated with revenue reductions discussed above regarding multi-year projects. Some of those include the Eastside Corridor Study and the Fresno-Madera Sustainable Corridor Study along State Route 41.

To review and access the OWP click here.

Action: Staff, the TTC and PAC recommend the Policy Board approve Fresno Council of Governments' final Fiscal Year 2020-21 Overall Work Program and budget.

Caltrans Report (Caltrans) [INFORMATION]


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 Policy Board 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 Policy Board concerning the item before action is taken.

Monthly Legislative Report (Trai Her-Cole) [INFORMATION]


Senate Bill 1291 Support Letter (Robert Phipps) [APPROVE]

Summary:  Two new variables have combined in recent months that add considerable pressure to regional agencies' normal Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) development. Senate Bill 1291 (Beall) will address that pressure by delaying until 2022 the State's requirement to produce a new FTIP on a two-year cycle.

Under Part 2 of the Federal government's Safe, Affordable, Fuel Efficient (SAFE) rule, changes in fuel efficiencies create variables to modeling factors needed to make air conformity determinations.  If conformity cannot be determined, billions of dollars in transportation projects—including rail and transit projects—will be at risk as soon as October.

Secondly, the FTIP process requires tremendous work and coordination with local jurisdictions. To get the needed approvals by September, much of the advance work needs to be done in May, June, and July.  This year, those timelines are particularly difficult. Like most agencies, Fresno COG is having difficulty completing all the steps required while sheltering in place. Given the significant consequences if an FTIP is not completed by October 1, it would be prudent to suspend the state requirement this year.

SB 1291 recognizes these unforseen hurdles and addresses them by delaying the more stringent State requirement to produce an FTIP on a two-year cycle rather than the Federal government's more lenient four-year cycle.  Importantly, the bill does nothing to impede the Federal cycle, which would next occur in 2022.

Staff recommends the Board approve a support position for SB 1291. A letter to Senator Beall detailing Fresno COG's support is attached.

Action:  Approve a support position for SB 1291 and authorize the Chairman to sign a letter of support.


Items from Staff

Items from Members


Public Presentations

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