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City Hall keeping Chukchansi Park fixes, cost close to vest

Fresno City Hall

City Hall keeping Chukchansi Park fixes, cost close to vest

A CVO Public Records Act request seeking the repairs and cost to fix Chukchansi Park was denied by the City Attorney’s Office.

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Fresno City Hall has decided it would rather put its trust in God than in public transparency.

CVObserver recently submitted a state Public Records Act request to the City Attorney’s Office and the Brand Administration. The request had two parts.

1.) ”The city’s list of needed repairs and maintenance projects at Chukchansi Park, plus estimated cost of repairs/maintenance projects and time needed to get everything done.”

2.) “The city’s strategic plan to modernize Chukchansi Park in keeping with the changing needs of Minor League Baseball. This plan would include any suggestions to reduce the number of permanent seats at the stadium, currently at 12,500.”

I received the city’s two-part response on Monday in an emailed letter from Francine Kanne, chief assistant city attorney. Both parts were the same:

“The City objects to and will not produce records in response to this request on grounds: (a) it seeks disclosure of records that contain confidential information (Govt. Code 6254(k)); and (b) it seeks disclosure of pre-decisional documents, such as drafts. (Govt. Code 6254(a).)”

City Hall recently provided CVObserver with a copy of a nearly three-year-old consultant’s report on the stadium’s condition. The part dealing with money was not legible.

Near as I could tell, the copy of the consultant’s report provided to me was a draft.

On Monday evening, I asked Grizzlies President Chris Cummings for his thoughts on the stadium’s condition His emailed reply:

“I don’t really for see much in the way of modernization that will be needed at the ballpark in the next several years. The ballpark, as you saw from the capital improvements report you cited in your article, is in excellent shape for its age and in good to very good shape overall. That’s the result of a lot of capital improvement work that’s been ongoing and effort that’s been made on the part of our staff to maintain the asset. The vast majority of the work that’s going to be required is more in the line of replacing things that wear out. Some of those are small items like individual air conditioning units. Others are large items like scoreboards and general seating. The scoreboard still has years left on it. The seating has even more time than that. In addition, we have just invested over $500,000 in new equipment for the food service operation at the ballpark.”

No word from anyone on the progress of talks to sell the Grizzlies.

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George Hostetter

George Hostetter is a contributor to CVObserver and advisor to The Collegian, the student newspaper of Fresno State.

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