Much-needed fencing completed
For The Madera Tribune
Chowchilla dignitaries officially cut the ribbon to recognize the completion of a perimeter safety fence around the Chowchilla Police Department on October 12.
The City of Chowchilla hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Chowchilla Police Station in celebration of the Safety Fencing Project coming to completion.
Several community members, project engineers, and legislative representatives were present for the Oct. 12 ribbon cutting, along with the Mayor John Chavez, Mayor Pro-Tem Ray Barragan, and Councilmembers Diana Palmer, Kelly Smith, and Waseem Ahmed.
Securing the police department parking area has been an ongoing discussion since 1993. Approximately three years prior to that, then elected Sherriff Jay Varney had conceptual drawings made. Several incidents occurred warranting the security fencing; however, funding was never available.
When Dave Riviere was appointed as Chief of Police, securing the parking area and seeing the project through became a priority. The City Council, City Administrator, Public Works, and the Police Department worked as a team to make this happen. There were many attempts to secure grant funding and several discussions with state and federal representatives, all coming short of obtaining financing.
In 2018, the community of Chowchilla overwhelmingly voted to approve Measure N, a Public Safety Tax. Measure N is a 1 percent Public Safety Tax that goes directly to the Chowchilla Police and Fire Department, which has an oversight committee that helps determine how that money is spent. With this new measure in place, the City Council set aside $500,000 to match funds with Measure N, and the project was fully funded and completed.
“Getting the secure area around the back of the Police Department was definitely a team effort,” said Police Chief Dave Riviere. “There is no way we could have got a securely fenced area without the support of the Community, the City Council, City Administration, Finance, Public Works, the Police Department, and our Community Engagement staff. Every person played a vital role in getting this done, and I am very proud to say it’s complete, and our staff feels safe and secure now. Thank you all for your support and hard work; we did it!”
The City of Chowchilla would like to thank the community for its role in helping to keep Chowchilla safe and the several community members who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony in support of this project.