Last month, we shared that the City is actively looking for funding in order to proceed with much-needed improvements to our facilities and infrastructure. City Staff continues its efforts to secure funding in order for other facilities and infrastructure to receive much-needed improvements. The grant funding enables the City to maintain all of our facilities and infrastructure with minimal effects on the City’s general fund while enhancing the overall quality of life for our residents.

“Funding for many of our City projects is impossible with the sole reliance on our General Fund,” said City Manager Steve Carmona. “Our staff recognize the importance of these grants and work hard to ensure that we receive the available funding out there for the benefit of our community.” All of the grant requests below were submitted for approval to the Office of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez’s Community Project Requests.

EV Chargers

With oil prices soaring and a focus on better air quality, the State of California has mandated that all cars sold in the State be zero-emission vehicles by the year 2035. While that may be more than a decade away, many residents here in the City of Pico Rivera have already made the switch to electric vehicles and now demand a new source of fuel, electricity provided through EV Charging stations. The installation of EV Chargers throughout the City will benefit Electric Vehicle owners, but it will also help solve the climate emergency and meet the climate goals of the State and the Federal Governments’ goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The City of Pico Rivera is surrounded by major vehicle-oriented corridors, and introducing electric vehicle infrastructure to our community will improve electric vehicle adoption rates and air quality. The City has taken steps to streamline the permitting process for electric vehicles by adopting Ordinance No. 1123 and adding to the municipal code procedures for expediting permit processing for EV charging stations.

Smith Park Pool

The Smith Park Aquatic Center, located in the middle of the City, is a major social hub during the Summer months, and it also provides lifesaving skills through programs and classes that can be used throughout the year. Due to the age of the Aquatic Center, many of the components that keep the pool clean and running are failing. Over the past few years, only critical maintenance has been performed in order to keep it open. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic last year, the Aquatic Center has been closed, and due to the numerous required repairs, the Center may not open this Summer despite Health Orders allowing it to open. For this reason and more, City staff have been working hard on securing funding from various sources to bring the Pool back to life and have it open for residents and visitors alike. While the Prop 68 Grant Funding was submitted last month, City staff submitted this request to specifically replace the Center’s pool pump and boiler system. These systems are original to the facility when it opened as a training site for the 1984 Olympics. Due to the age of these systems, they are no longer able to meet the minimum safety standards for water chemistry per the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. As a result, the pool cannot safely open until the boiler and pump systems are replaced. The Smith Park Aquatic Center is already scheduled to receive two grants that will go toward the necessary repairs and upgrades that are needed in order for the pool to become operational once again. Staff continues to seek other sources of funding so that a complete overhaul of the facility can be achieved.

5G Fiber Optic Network

As we progress as a City and as a society as a whole, the dependency on technology continues to grow at an accelerated rate. The current dependence on mobile devices puts a strain on the already burdened networks that are in place by local network providers. It is for this reason that the City is anticipating the installation of a citywide 5G network. Currently, there is no infrastructure to support such a major improvement. In order to make the installation of a citywide 5G network possible, the City is proposing a Fiber Conduit Installation Project. The project will pave the way for a deployment of a 5G network that will enhance citywide internet bandwidth and support technology-enabled infrastructure such as traffic signals, bus stops, roadway sensors, utility meters, security cameras, street lights, and walkways. Additionally, with the current technology, the City and the El Rancho Unified School District have identified the digital divide as a significant and ongoing challenge for providing high-quality, internet-based education services and community engagement in the civic process. Having the ability to install the latest in broadband technology will help overcome the challenges of poor connectivity.

PFAS Groundwater Treatment Project

With the Federal and State Governments lowering the thresholds for allowable levels of certain chemicals in the population’s drinking water, many local water providers are searching for ways to improve on the safety of their drinking water on top of the already stringent quality standards that are followed. The City of Pico Rivera is one of many regional water providers faced with this issue. While the City continues to provide safe drinking water, the need to filter out harmful chemicals is still necessary, and funding for such projects is expensive, yet necessary. For that reason, Staff has been diligently searching for funding so that the City can meet and exceed current and future safe water drinking standards. The funds received if awarded would be used toward the design, environmental, and construction phases of the City’s water treatment facilities. As a whole, many of these projects would not be possible if it were not for the available funding resources and the staff time it took to research. Look for updates on these projects in future editions of the Profile.

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