CDFA Deputy Secretary for Fairs Michael Flores (center) joined local Fair Board members and other community dignitaries for a press conference today, on opening day at Chico’s Silver Dollar Fair, to announce a slate of projects at Chico and eleven other fairgrounds sites around the state. The projects include new and expanded safe-shelter space, kitchen and sanitation facilities, showers and various other upgrades. The grants are part of the state’s Fairgrounds Resilience Centers Program.
The projects are designed to improve the facilities’ ability to protect and comfort people and families in times of need. The same improvements will also expand services and capabilities for many other events throughout the year, adding value to these community assets.
“This program is a prime example of the value of California’s fairgrounds,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “These grants will provide more than 460,000 square feet of new space for emergency sheltering, and they will position fairgrounds to offer their communities additional resources during climate-related disasters or other emergency events. The enhanced fairgrounds will also provide a unique opportunity for their communities to engage in the use of the facilities for other services and activities throughout the entire year.”
The funding for the grants program was appropriated as part of the 2021-2022 California general fund budget. The resilience centers will enhance emergency preparedness capabilities, particularly in response to climate change. Funding will be used for infrastructure that supports emergency evacuation and shelter of people, pets and livestock, and it will also fund facilities and tools to improve how responders can use these sites as base camps during emergency events.
The projects and sites that have been selected were also evaluated to consider their potential to provide spaces that the community can use outside of contingency times. The grants will equip facilities and provide spaces that can be used year-round to offer services and activities geared to strengthen local communities through civic, social, educational, and economic development programming. Business incubation centers, satellite college campus facilities, and telemedicine centers are among the viable concepts.
A complete list of the grants is available here.
CDFA’s press release with additional information is available here.