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New Budget Could Impact Local Construction Projects

Palm Desert, CA — While government, manufacturing and farm work dropped, Riverside County added construction jobs last month.

The county added 800 construction jobs in August.

But in the valley, construction jobs are down and it could get worse, depending on the Governor’s new budget.

The housing crisis has all but stopped residential construction.

Now workers are trying their hand at commerical building.

But those jobs could be in jeopordy after a historic budget stand-off.

“You couple that with the uncertainty that we have in the private sector, with the banking, and it puts a pretty heavy impact on that job base,” says Fred Bell of the Building Industry Association Desert Chapter.

Builders saw the effects earlier this week when construction on the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage was put on hold.

The city council kept the project afloat by approving long-term financing.

More cities could do the same for other struggling projects.

“We see the government sector step in and provide financing or direct contribution to keep those type of things going,” said Bell.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments is helping with several municipal projects, like road construction.

It could give the local economy a boost.

“To get the construction going right now at a time when the economy is down, keep employment up and assist our cities,” says John Wohlmuth Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.

Normally city redevelopment agencies help fund certain construction projects.

But the current state budget has redevelopment funds going back to Sacramento.

Threatening local jobs and the economy.

“CVAG and our member cities can hopefully continue on making improvements on the roads but i do think you’ll see an impact on the redevelopment agencies in the Coachella Valley,” says Wohlmuth.

With a new budget in place, cities will now start looking at how much redevelopment could be cut.

KESQ News Team

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