Central Valley

Fresno's tab for 'Extreme Makeover': $115,000

The city of Fresno spent about $115,000 supporting the ABC television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," officials said this week.

City spokesman Randy Reed said much of the money was "embedded costs," or money that would have been spent anyway, but was shifted to support the show, which built a new home for Mary Ann Riojas and her family.

The largest such expense was nearly $80,000 for police officers that provided 24-hour-a-day traffic and parking control during the seven-day construction effort. The police department shifted both sworn officers and volunteers from other duties to support the show.

Fresno officials also spent $22,000 to provide shuttle services on city busses for both project volunteers and spectators.

Other expenses included $5,000 in service from the public utilities department, and $3,800 for maps, street closures, tree trimming and soil compaction by public works employees.

The city also waived permit and plan check fees totaling $1,287 for the home, and donated $750 worth of service from the Film and Entertainment Commissioner.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said entertainment industry experts estimate the city will receive up to $1.25 million in economic activity at local businesses from the show.

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