- Felicia Matlosz
FRESNO, CA – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) on Tuesday, September 13, will present a $5 million check to the City of Fowler and the Fowler Improvement Association.
Assemblymember Arambula secured General Funds in the State Budget for the two agencies: $4 million will helpthe City of Fowler build a new Police Department headquarters and Senior Center, and $1 million will help the Fowler Improvement Association renovate its historic 112-year-old clubhouse.
The presentation and news conference will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday in front of the current Fowler Senior Center, which will be the future site of the police headquarters and senior center. The address is 108 N. 3rd Street. (NOTE: The address of the FIA clubhouse is 110 S. 5th Street.)
Both allocations support agencies that need upgrades and renovations to better serve the Fowler community. The current Police Department, for example, is housed in a section of City Hall that has minimal staff work areas, lackslocker room facilities, and has no briefing or training space. The current Senior Center is undersized, lacks sufficient kitchen facilities, and presents access challenges for seniors.
The Fowler Improvement Association, organized in 1890, is the oldest chapter of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs in the state. The clubhouse was donated to the FIA in 1910 and is the only building in Fowler that is designated a historical property by the County of Fresno. The structure, which the community uses as an event and meeting place, is in acute need of repair.
Assemblymember Arambula said: “I’m so pleased I could secure these State funds for Fowler because the purpose speaks to the heart of community, from embracing our seniors to enhancing public safety to preserving a historical place cherished and used by many people. I know this investment in these improvements will serve Fowler residents well into the future.”
Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Mark Rodriquez said: “On behalf of the Council, the community, and my family, I would like to personally thank Assemblymember Arambula for the generosity that he is showing the City of Fowler. My family has been in Fowler for over 10 decades, and I cannot tell you how much this means to us and to our beautiful City of Fowler. A simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem like it’s enough. I know our former Mayor Cardenas is looking down at our beautiful city and smiling today.”
David Cardenas, who was mayor, passed away on March 11 this year, at the age of 67. He was mayor for more than a decade and served on the City Council since the early 2000s.
Fowler Police Chief Michael Reid said: “The men and women of the Fowler Police Department are very excited to build on a great partnership we have established over the past several years with Assemblymember Arambula and his office. This funding will allow the City to better serve our community and offer the highest level of public safety services. It also provides a unique opportunity to co-locate our Senior Center and our Police Department, further building trust and forging strong relationships between law enforcement and the people they serve.”
Henrietta Martin, president of the Fowler Improvement Association, said: “On behalf of our board members and the membership at large of the FIA, I would like to express our appreciation to Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula and his staff for their hard work to secure a $1 million grant from the state for the FIA clubhouse restoration. The project will allow us to provide continued support for our community for many years to come, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Yvonne Hernandez, Recreation and Senior Center Supervisor for the City of Fowler, said: “The Fowler Senior Center is excited to accept the funding from Assemblymember Arambula, which will be utilized to build a new state-of-the-art senior center. This will greatly impact the lives of our seniors and be a staple in our community for generations to come.”
The allocations for the City of Fowler and the Fowler Improvement Association are part of the overall $21.5 million in General Fund allocations that Assemblymember Arambula secured this legislative year for a variety of local agencies and nonprofit organizations in the 31st Assembly District.