CEO Report

Brian P. Kelly, CEOMarch 2021


2020 Business Plan Highlights


As we all know 2020 was different. The adoption of the business plan has been delayed three times. The proposed 2020 Business Plan before you today calls for the utilizing the funding currently available to this program to achieve the following objectives:

  • Complete the civil works of laid track for the 119 miles of work currently under construction
  • Complete the environmental work under Phase I segments –between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anaheim
  • Complete our commitments to the book end project in Los Angeles and Bay Area—projects currently valued at some $3 billion dollars
  • Expand the 119-mile segment of to 171 miles connecting the cities of Merced Fresno and Bakersfield
  • This will commence the nation’s first electrified high-speed rail service by the end of this decade.


Advancements in the City of Wasco

We heard a lot of public comment today from folks at Wasco, and I do want to report to the whole board on the status of the development there that I think is important. I’m disappointed that it wasn’t mentioned the advancement that we’re making on the issue.

First of all, when the entirety of the issue came up about demolishing the old farmworker housing area in Wasco, it’s important to note that we went back and looked at what our commitments were and are in the development of this project, what mitigation measures we put in place. At that time initially we had offered a sound wall which was back in 2015 and 2016. That was denied in favor of helping build new farmworker housing to which we applied $10 million. They have finished that construction and the farmworkers are in the new housing in Wasco that we helped pay for. The issue of demolition was never discussed or never part of that initial process.

Now all of that said, I do want to say this: I have visited the site, I have spent time with the mayor and the city staff down there, and I do think, because we have worked continuously with the community of Wasco, that we do want to be helpful in trying to resolve the issue of the blighted former farmworker housing issue in that area. So, just at the end of last week we did move forward with a federal grant application that we have now submitted, an Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant, to both complete some grade separation work on Route 46 in Wasco and use $9.4 million of that grant request to fund the demolition of the farmworker housing. We just sent that grant application in and we expect, I’m told, that we’ll understand what awards were made by the end of April.

So this is a way I think for us to show leadership on this and to pursue funding for this that doesn’t come directly out of our budget but is money that we would pursue to apply to get that that work done.

I’m pleased that in a very short window the team here at the Authority put together the grant application working closely with the transportation agency. We have letters of support for that grant application from the mayor of Wasco and from the local assembly member and the state senator representing Wasco.

So we’ll see how this goes but I think it’s important for all of you to know that whether or not it’s strictly our fiscal obligation, it is something that we want to be cooperative in getting done, and we’re trying to look under every pillow cushion and everything else to find dollars to complete that work. Once demolition happens, what’s going to be built, that’s up to the city of Wasco. They want that site demolished now. I think they’ve zoned it for industrial use.

Board of directors

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Board of Directors Secretary
(916) 324-1541

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