The City of San José is set to receive $20.2 million from SB-170, the Budget Act of 2021, for investments in emergency services and transportation infrastructure. San José residents will also benefit from regional investments through $10 million in worker support and facility improvements for the VTA, as well as $16 million for the protection of wildlands.
“I am extremely grateful to our State leaders for their steadfast and continued dedication to serving the residents of our city,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “As we continue to recover from a year of hardships from the pandemic, wildfires, and drought, these vital funds are truly investing in the future resilience of our community.”
These funds, along with local partnerships and ongoing city efforts, will help San Jose better respond to local disasters and remain adept in the face of ongoing crises such as COVID-19, climate change, and daily challenges like transportation infrastructure, according to officials.
A budget request from state Senators Dave Cortese and Bob Hertzberg will allow the city’s fire department to utilize $2.2 million from the state for the purchase of a Mobile Operations Satellite Expeditionary System (MOSES), to communicate securely and effectively during a wildfire or natural disaster. The system allows first responders to make calls, better coordinate resources, request mutual aid, and communicate with the public about critical information such as evacuations, according to the city.
“This investment from the state will greatly enhance our ability to ensure critical emergency communications can be delivered in the event of a large-scale incident,” said San José Fire Chief Robert Sapien, Jr. “MOSES’ ability to provide cell service or Wi-Fi when the cellular network fails or in remote areas without coverage has the potential to save the lives of both firefighters and residents.”
As a result of a district funding request from Assemblymember Ash Kalra,, the state allocated $8 million in one-time funding in budget trailer bill SB 129 to partially fund rail crossing improvements in the Warm Springs and Japantown neighborhood. Residents in the area who are impacted by excess train noises will see noise mitigation efforts and now qualify as a Quiet Zone. The total estimated cost of the project is $12.4 million and the City of San José has also invested $5 million.
San José Department of Transportation Director, John Ristow said, “With this investment, people who live near the Warm Springs rail line will again be able to sleep through the night without the routine sound of train horns. Moreover, shortened crossing distances, modern railway signals and gates, and clear signs and markings offer greater safety to our residents. A huge thanks to our community members who have worked with us to secure this funding.”
In addition, the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority received a combined $16 million from the State for the protection of North Coyote Valley open space lands, including the purchase of the 376-acre Laguna Seca property in North Coyote Valley from the Peninsula Open Space Trust. The lands comprise one of the Bay Area's last remaining undeveloped valley floors, including 300 acres of wetland, and critical floodplains.