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Around The Valley: Porterville / TEDC / Chevron / Visalia

Porterville Will Stick With EDC

Porterville City Council decided this week to continue its participation in the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation says City Manager John Lollis. The decision comes after the City of Tulare decided to pull out of the business recruitment organization and Visalia remains on the fence over its participation going forward. Visalia is slated to make a decision next month some time.

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Porterville Reps View Electric Bus Assembly In China

Porterville city staff recently traveled to China to inspect the manufacturing process for the new Green Power electric buses that will undergo final assembly in Porterville. Green Power will have plant in Porterville where the full manufacturing process will take place. Meanwhile the buses should arrive later this fall to be assembled in a building next to the Porterville airport .

For now City Manager John Lollis says city staff visited China for a week in September and mid-October and the itinerary also included a battery making plant the supplies this key component to Green Power.

It is this battery company Porterville hopes will consider setting up a satellite assembly plant in US – near the new Porterville Green Power plant.

Chevron Cutting Valley Workforce

Chevron announced they would lay off around 300 workers in the Valley this week. The company cited the figure of around 26% of their workforce. Low oil prices are a problem for the state’s largest oil producer.The company statement said the move was necessary to “improve margins and reduce operating costs to enable a long term, sustainable business.”

Employees at company sites in Kern County and in Fresno County headquartered in Coalinga, will be affected.

Visalia Transit Ridership Declines 14.5%

Visalia officials are scrambling to come up with a strategy to boost transit travel the Visalia area where ridership has decreased 14.5% between 2013-2016, what they say is a nationwide trend.
With the help of TCAG ,a study will identify ways to consolidate efforts and achieve both cost savings and efficiencies in an effort to improve the services provided to the public countywide. As the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) for the Visalia Urbanized area, TCAG will fund a feasibility study.

Visalia Hotel Owners Forming Improvement District

Looking to fill more hotel rooms in Visalia a group of local hospitality unit owners are organizing a property based improvement district to help fund marketing and sales promotions for its members. The group is headed by Anil Chagan of Downtown Comfort Suites and includes many of the local hotels. They are focusing on a 2% assessment on their properties.

Visalia/Tulare hotel occupancy has been trending higher this summer says the latest state tourism report. Occupancy is up to 84% compared to 81% as of July 2016. The number room nights sold was up 5% year over year in July 2017.

Fueling California tourism is a rise of 10% in international arrivals at LAX and SFO this summer vs last.

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