Chico City Manager discusses $3 million funding for Camp Fire impacts

Chico’s City Manager is releasing new details on how they will spend three million dollars from the state.

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 7:21 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2019 7:43 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Chico’s City Manager is releasing new details on how they will spend $3 million from the state. The money is to help with Camp Fire Impacts.

City Manager Mark Orme said they are hoping to improve some roadways with the money. Orme said the spike in population means there are more people and that means there is more wear and tear on the roads.

He said the City of Chico tracked the most used roads, and those areas include the Southwest part of the city – where FEMA had put some trailers; and the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds where evacuees used to park their RV’s.

The City hopes to use part of the $3 million to improve traffic flow and fix the roads.

"In addition to that obviously people are sick and tired of potholes and the wear and tear on the roadways so there would be operational work on that, that is the other part of the equation," Orme said.

Orme added since people may not stay in Chico the city will then re-evaluate and see what’s reasonable for other long term projects.

As another part of the infrastructure, the city might look into the sewer system and look for ways to offset the costs for ratepayers.

"I think it will greatly benefit our ratepayers who are paying for sewer today," Orme said. "They should not have to pay for a disaster that was out of their control and out of our control as well. So we are looking to better mitigate that as well."

The city is also going to be addressing public safety in the wake of the Camp Fire. They are hoping to use some of that money to improve technology for officers and firefighters.

One example of that is getting license plate readers, which would help officers track suspects on the road or in specific locations. Another example would be putting cameras around town in specific areas.

"We want to make sure our radios and everything else is highly operational that they are functional and they will last the test of time and serve our firefighters and our police officers well so we are looking at a lot of different areas where technology needs to be improved," Orme said.

Division Chief Jesse Alexander from the Chico Fire Department said the Chico Fire Department has been financially strapped for a while.

"Any money from the state would be very beneficial if funneled to the Fire Department because there are a plethora of things we could use it for," Alexander said.

All of these are ideas that Orme said might be in the recommendation for Chico City Council, but he has not officially sent it in yet.

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It wasn't as hot for northern California today, but temperatures still reached seasonable summer levels and more thunderstorms sprung over our eastern counties. After one more seasonable day, hotter weather will return to our area.
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