Senator Hurtado secures $7 million grant for Woodlake

Senator Melissa Hurtado presents check for $7 million to the city of Woodlake for construction of civic center

WOODLAKE – A million-dollar check will be handed off to Mayor Rudy Mendoza next week to fund a new building for city hall and the police department.

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) will be presenting a check of $7 million to the city of Woodlake on Oct. 4 to fund construction for a new civic center. The civic center will house city hall employees and the police department. The new extra space will provide more room for employees, but more importantly will give people filing police reports more privacy, according to city manager Ramon Lara. The civic center is now entering the planning stages.

“Right now, we struggle because our building is at capacity,” Lara said. “The current layout of city hall and the police station presents occupational hazards and privacy concerns.”

Since city hall and the police department currently share a common lobby, Lara said it could deter people from filing police reports. In-person police report requests made in the lobby could be heard by residents that are conducting normal city business, such as paying bills or utilizing city services. Lara said the location of the civic center will most likely be on 321 N. Valencia in Woodlake. No other plans have been made.

The current city hall and police department building offers limited room for emergency technology or organizations as well, according to Lara. Though the civic center is still in its planning stages, Lara said that extra room for emergency services will be accounted for. The extra space will house emergency responders amid a crisis, such as COVID-19 vaccine administrators or the Red Cross during wildfires. This new space will have unlimited uses, according to Lara.

Senator Hurtado helped the city secure the state funded grant in August, but the official check presentation will be happening at 2 p.m. across the street from the post office. It is an open event that residents can attend and ask questions about the new civic center. Mayor Rudy Mendoza will also be a key speaker during the event that will answer any questions from residents.

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