Fresno COG Header

Fresno COG Policy Board


Thursday, November 18, 2021
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 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.

The Fresno COG Policy Board will take place

in person at the Fresno COG Sequoia Room and via Zoom.


Joining the meeting:

 Join by Phone:  (669) 900-6833

 Meeting ID: 898 2284 4328

 Passcode: 065093


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


When on the phone, if you wish to address the Policy Board during the public comment portion of the agenda, Press *9 to “RaiseHand” and we will select you from the meeting cue.


**If joining by phone use *6 to unmute and mute yourself.  When joining the meeting all participants are automatically muted.  Do NOT use the mute function on your LAN line phone or cell phone. 


Those addressing the Policy Board must state their first and last name and agency for the record.


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

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




Workforce Development Board Presentation (Blake Konczal) [INFORMATION]


Summary: Workforce Development Board Executive Director Blake Konczal will deliver a presentation regarding Workforce Connection and its potential benefits throughout Fresno County.


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 Sept. 10, 2021 [APPROVE]
First Quarterly Financial and Work Element Report (Les Beshears) [INFORMATION]
Fresno COG Draft Financial Statements for FY 2020/21 [INFORMATION]
2022 Fresno COG Annual Meeting Calendar [APPROVE]


Access for All Program Update (Suzanne Martinez) [INFORMATION]

Summary: In April 2021, staff requested and received approval from the TTC, PAC, and COG Policy Board to certify Fresno COG as the Local Access Fund Administrator (LAFA) for the Access for All (AFA) Program in Fresno County. This item details the next steps in that process.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the transportation network company (TNC) Access for All Program following Senate Bill (SB) 1376 (Hill: 2018), which directed CPUC to establish a program to address the accessibility of TNC services for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users who need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV).

A $.10 fee collected from every TNC trip is redistributed to each MPO region to develop programs that incentivize on-demand transportation services for people with disabilities, including wheelchair accessible vehicles/rides.

CPUC approved Fresno COG’s LAFA application on June 28 (resolution attached), and Fresno COG subsequently received the FY 2021-2022 LAFA allocation totaling $222,436.80 in mid-August, 2021.

The next steps for the Access for All program include:

  • Creating an Overall Work Program (OWP) work element for the AFA program and executing an OWP budget amendment to include the funding awarded to Fresno COG for implementation of the AFA program in FY 2021-2022. (See Item 2B of this agenda)
  • Gather local disability community stakeholders and other interested parties for input into the AFA program planning process
  • Establish and finalize an AFA competitive solicitation process and release a request for proposals
  • Screen received proposals for program eligibility, select provider(s), and execute program contract(s)
  • Institute a data collection process, and submit quarterly/annual reports to CPUC.

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

Overall Work Program Amendment No. 3 (Les Beshears) [ACTION]

Summary: Fresno Council of Governments' 2021-22 Overall Work Program Amendment No. 3 increases the budget $222,437 to $35,653,219.

Work Element 131 Access for All – The California Public Utilities Commission identified Fresno COG as the Local Access Fund Administrator for Fresno County and provided $222,437 to assist disabled persons seeking access to transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Action:  Staff, TTC and PAC recommend the Policy Board adopt Resolution 2021-48, approving Fresno Council of Governments' 2021-22 Overall Work Program Amendment No. 3.

2022 Regional Transportation Improvement Program Resolution 2021-47 (Jennifer Soliz) [ACTION]

Summary: The California Transportation Commission (CTC) adopts a new State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) every two years. The STIP is a five-year capital improvement program of transportation projects on and off the state highway system, funded from the State Highway Account and other sources. As part of the STIP development process, each region must produce a Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP), which comprises regional priorities for 75 percent of the funding in the STIP. Concurrent with the RTIP development at the regional level, Caltrans is required to produce the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) for the remaining 25 percent of STIP funding. The ITIP comprises interregional priorities Caltrans establishes in collaboration with the regions. Caltrans merges the regions’ RTIPs and Caltrans’ ITIP into the statewide document – the STIP – and submits it to the CTC by Dec. 15. The CTC will hold public hearings in January and February and adopt the STIP in March 2022.

Fresno COG’s RTIP is dedicated to the region’s priorities as listed in the 2006 Measure C Expenditure Plan. The Fresno region has a longstanding policy of leveraging state and federal funding on major transportation improvements by partnering those resources with Measure C sales tax funding.

In the 2020 STIP, FCOG programmed $69.7 million. Of this, $5.74 million is reserved for landscaping, which finishes the State Route 180 West freeway project constructed during the original 1987-2006 measure. Another $2 million in RTIP was programmed to match $8 million Caltrans programmed in the Interregional STIP (ITIP) to design and acquire right-of-way for the six-mile SR 41 Excelsior gap closure project to the Kings County line. Additionally, $14.6 million was programmed for the Veterans Boulevard interchange on SR 99. Another $45.3 million was programmed for the multiphase South Fresno interchanges on SR 99. Finally, $1.99 million was programmed for FCOG Planning, Programming and Monitoring (PPM) over the five-year STIP period.

The 2022 STIP fulfilled funding commitments from the 2020 STIP and provided another $22 million in new regional programming capacity.  Fresno COG proposes programming $11.9 million on projects and leaving $10.1 million in reserve for the 2024 STIP programming cycle.

The reasons for leaving unprogrammed RTIP in reserve are two-fold: First, the Measure C Expenditure Plan is aggressively pursuing construction on three major projects totaling $165.7 million in the 2023/24 – 2024/25 timeframe (South Fresno Interchanges – North\Cedar and American Avenue, and SR 41 Excelsior Avenue).  There are signs inflation may be a serious concern, and the CTC’s G-12 policy allows up to a 10 percent contingency that may be charged to RTIP county shares should bids come in over engineer estimates. It is therefore appropriate to leave an unprogrammed reserve to provide that contingency.

Second, when Fresno COG and the Fresno County Transportation Authority boards approved Amendment No. 6 to the Measure C Expenditure Plan – adding SR 41 Excelsior to the Measure’s rural tier I list – they committed to hold existing project schedules harmless. Leaving RTIP in reserve for future projects is consistent with this commitment.

The $11.9 million in proposed new RIP funding will provide $1.1 million for cost increases for SR 180 landscaping, $10 million for constructing SR 41 Excelsior, and $399,000 a year in Planning Program Monitoring (PPM) for the two years added to the STIP.

SR180 landscaping. – The project cost is now $7.46 million, of which $6.86 million is RTIP and $603,000 is measure funding. It will bid for construction in January 2022.

SR 41 Excelsior - The estimated project cost is now $70.8 million. Construction in 2024-25 is estimated at $60.8 million, of which Caltrans is proposing $23 million to come from the ITIP and $14.8 million from the State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP). This recommendation proposes programming $10 million in RTIP, with the remaining $13 million funded by Measure C.

The CTC has also made $4.76 million in COVID relief funding available in a 2021 mid-cycle STIP adjustment that must be programmed no later than June 2024. Staff proposes programming it on South Fresno Interchange – American Avenue. This will free up rural Measure C funding, which is also consistent with the commitment to hold rural measure project schedules harmless despite adding SR 41 Excelsior to the rural tier I list. 

The American Avenue interchange is estimated to cost $56.1 million, with the $47.2 million construction phase occurring in 2023-24 concurrent with the North-Cedar interchange.

The 2022 RTIP project funding schedule is detailed on the attached programming document.

Action: Staff, TTC and PAC recommend the Policy Board adopt Resolution 2021-47 to submit Fresno COG's 2022 RTIP to the California Transportation Commission, proposing $11.914 million in regional county shares and $4.76 million in mid-cycle STIP.

Regional Safety Plan Top 20 Locations (Santosh Bhattarai) [INFORMATION]

Summary: In September 2020, Fresno COG and Kittelson and Associates kicked off the Regional Safety Plan (RSP). The safety plan is designed to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for all motorized and non-motorized modes and users in Fresno County.  

The planning team released for public review an existing conditions report in April that included a draft plan, policy review and data analysis of the five most recent years of crash data, focusing on regional crash patterns and trends. Kittleson and Associates calculated a severity score for each intersection and roadway segment across the region to identify the priority locations. The more severe a collision, the greater the weight it was given in the severity score. The weighting aligns with how the state prioritizes grant funding for safety projects.

The plan includes a regional countermeasure toolbox that identified 20 priority locations across the region to illustrate how it can be applied and used as safety project opportunities for the region to explore funding and implementation options with its partner agencies.

The team prioritized 15 intersections and five roadway segments, based on severity score and geographic location (e.g., east and west side cities, unincorporated county). The social equity index for the immediate surrounding community was also considered. Out of 15 intersections, three each are in Fresno, Clovis, and unincorporated Fresno County. Another one each are in: Kingsburg, Firebaugh, Sanger, Mendota, Selma, and Coalinga -- totaling three locations each east and west of Highway 99. The list of 20 locations is attached. The locations' concept designs are included in the plan as ideas for consideration only. The agencies that own and operate these facilities have full decision-making authority regarding the appropriateness and feasibility of the potential improvements illustrated.

In addition, Fresno COG set up a regional safety tool that provides crash locations and a severity analysis of historical crash data for Fresno County. The Regional Safety Tool is available here: Also in progress is a safety education campaign.   

For questions or more information, please contact Santosh Bhattarai at

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

Measure C Renewal Update (Tony Boren) [INFORMATION]

Summary: Staff will provide a short update on the Measure C renewal process and timeline.

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

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.

Regional Clearinghouse (Jennifer Soliz) [APPROVE]

Summary:  The clearinghouse calendar contains project notification and review reports for grant proposals.





Rural Food Support and Capacity building Project

Central California Food Bank


Washington USD vaccination and testing for COVID-19 and additional costs to provide food to the children in this area

Washington USD

Action:  Forward any comment(s) received or any Committee/Board comment(s) generated as a result of this informational item to the appropriate agency.

Resolution Supporting Rural Broadband Infrastructure Improvements (Robert Phipps) [APPROVE]

Summary: Across California, rural communities in particular face multiple barriers for deploying resilient and accessible broadband internet networks. Remote, rural communities often lack sufficient wireline and wireless broadband internet access service, as well as the backhaul infrastructure to provide broadband services. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the extent to which broadband access is essential for public safety, public health and welfare, education, and economic resilience.

In August 2020, Gov. Newsom issued Executive Order (E.O.) N-73-201 directing state agencies to bridge the digital divide and ordering 15 specific actions to increase access to broadband in the areas of mapping and data, funding, deployment, and adoption.

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan. In total, the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan included funds for states to deploy last-mile broadband internet networks. The law requires funds to be expended by the end of 2024 and projects to be completed by the end of 2026.

On Sept. 18, 2020, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) opened a proceeding, Rulemaking (R.) 20-09-001 to set the strategic direction for deploying reliable, fast, and affordable broadband internet access services that connect all Californians.

On July 20, 2021, Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB)156, requiring a statewide open-access, middle-mile network. The law requires the PUC to provide locations for the network in a staff report. SB 156 also created a federal funding account where funds will be deposited and directs the PUC to allocate $2 billion for a program to connect unserved and underserved communities by applicable federal deadlines.

Given the degree to which communities rely on broadband infrastructure to connect within and among each other, Fresno Council of Governments has modeled a resolution on one already approved by multiple westside cities that supports the PUC's efforts to establish middle- and last-mile broadband infrastructure. This is particularly germane for remote, rural communities that have few other means of connecting to the world at large for safety, education, training, jobs, medical, retail and other quality-of-life opportunities.

Action:  Approve Resolution 2021-49 and authorize the Chairman to sign.


Special Meeting to Address AB 361 Emergency Declaration Mandate (Robert Phipps) [APPROVE]

Summary:  AB 361 requires that each legislative body wishing to continue meeting remotely during a state of emergency issue findings reaffirming the need to do so no more than 30 days prior to the meeting date. On Nov. 10, Gov. Newsom extended California's state of emergency regarding the COVID pandemic through March 22, 2022. Fresno COG last issued its findings at the October 2021 regular meeting.

Action: Approve a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 to readopt findings contained in Resolution 2021-46.


Items from Staff

Items from Members


Public Presentations

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 three minutes.