Ground broken on $15M transit maintenance facility in Selma

After years of discussion, ground was broken Friday on a $15 million maintenance facility for the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency in Selma.

“This particular project was just on the map not too long ago,” said Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau. “In some ways, it takes time. In some ways, it comes quickly. I’m so glad that we’re standing here at the groundbreaking and can really get this project rolling.”

The groundbreaking ceremony featured talks from speakers and local officials including representatives from the offices of Congressman Jim Costa and Senator Anna Caballero.

“We know FCRTA is a vital lifeline for so many who need to get to their health appointments, senior centers, in to receive food,” Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula said at the event. “We also know FCRTA provides great services for the elderly and the disabled.”

The new facility, approved in 2018 for an acre of land at 1821 Pacific Ave., will be a center for maintenance and operations for the transit agency and includes a 10,000 square foot, four-bay maintenance facility. The facility is also planned to include a 5,000 square foot dispatching and administration office.

“It wasn’t inevitable that we were standing here today,” said Selma Mayor Scott Robertson. “First, there were three prospective cities that bid for the privilege of providing the site.”

Robertson joked that the city won the site for its “charming mayor” but added that the city was chosen because of its proximity to Highway 43 and the Golden State Corridor. The facility will be named in honor of former Fowler mayor David Cardenas, who died in March 2022. Brandau called Cardenas the best elected official of all time, himself included.

“David used to come to Selma all the time,” Robertson said. “He rose to the top of our local government, served on every board you can think of selflessly, but he always had good humor and he was always brilliant.”

The transit project is a partnership between Selma and the transit agency. According to the approved agreement in 2018 FCRTA purchased the acre of land from the city for $150,000, part of which will be leased back to the city. Selma will provide employees to work at the fleet maintenance facility and added several positions to that end including a transit manager, fleet maintenance manager, custodian, equipment mechanic, maintenance workers, transit mechanic and shuttle driver.

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