Time for Gilroy’s Public Safety Services to Catch Up with New Housing

Open Letter to Gilroy’s City Council, May 20, 2019

We’re making the following request because smart growth includes making sure that public safety services accompany growth.

We would like you to prioritize and advance construction of both the Glen Loma Fire Station and the 10th Street Bridge. We believe these projects are critical to the provision of improved public safety response times and traffic circulation in the south west quadrant.

These projects complement each other. The fire station will provide much needed coverage and the bridge will provide more direct and reliable access for first responders and the public.

Now is the time to move forward with these projects. You are currently in budget discussions. Although these projects are considered capital improvements, we believe they should be advanced and discussed now because funding is available.

The fire station is primarily funded by the Glen Loma development. We understand there is about a 2 million dollar shortfall. This shortfall could be paid from general fund reserves as was done for street repairs a few years ago or from unallocated general fund money. This would be a one-time expense.

Staffing for the station is a separate issue that council has been discussing and will eventually be resolved. Remember that the Sunrise Station sat empty for many years before being put into service.

The 10th Street Bridge has been promised since the high school was built. I believe it was also a condition of the approval of Glen Loma. It is critical to traffic circulation and will not close in the winter as Miller Avenue does. This bridge will carry more traffic and be of more benefit to the community than the new bridge at Cohansey. Improvements to 10th Street in the current design will also provide better safety for students at Gilroy High School.

We believe that funding for this project is available from traffic impact fees. The Glen Loma project alone will generate between 24 and 27 million dollars, more than enough to cover the cost of the project.

We ask the council to agendize these projects for discussion and action. The costs for construction will only increase with the passage of time. Delay will not serve us well and west side residents will appreciate your moving ahead with these public safety measures.