SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a deadly and violent summer in Old Sacramento, City Council is approving specific funding from federal COVID-19 relief funds to improve public safety in the area.
The historic district holds a special place in Danny Meza's heart.
"It's always been one of those places you come to with your family or on a date or anything like that," he said.
The Sacramento native says he was disheartened and concerned to see the area plagued with gun violence.
This summer, there was a shooting every month for three months. Two of them were deadly and claimed three lives.
"It's just scary working down here sometimes, especially when it gets dark. It's like, 'Let's wrap it up. Let's close up,'" said Alec Nichols, who has worked in the area for the past six months.
Nichols said he's relieved City Council is allocating $5 million dollars of American Rescue Plan funding for public safety investments.
"I know it's Old Town Sacramento, but it's nice. We're getting an update for our security," Nichols said.
While the city broadly approved the funding earlier this year, it will vote on Tuesday for specific first line investment items. City documents call for:
- $60,000 in street closures
- $300,000 for approximately 19 security cameras
- $300,000 for additional private security
- $4.3 million for street lighting and public space improvements
Meza was among many who reacted to the sticker shock.
"The real problem here is that people don't care about the consequences," Meza said. "I think that's where more money should go to -- more money should go to reform as opposed to lights."
The proposal says the lighting improvements will follow "Crime Prevention through Environmental Design" standards, with goals such as making Old Sacramento more visible from the freeway.
Still, Meza and Nichols say it's a step in the right direction. They say more lighting and security would offer more safety, and hopefully, make bad actors think twice.
Sacramento City Council broadly approved $112 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding. City Council also plans on approving $41 million dollars to implement its homeless siting plan, $8.2 million to help small businesses citywide, $1.5 million to prevent gang violence and $1 million to create a job training pipeline to fill the UC Davis Aggie Square Innovation District.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city leaders plan to hold a press conference Tuesday morning to lay out the allocation plans in the coming weeks.