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Around Tulare County: Lots Of News

Water Picture Brightens

Screen shot 2012-05-11 at 8.49.02 AMFriant Water contractors will not have to donate any water stored above Fresno to the Exchange Contractors this year the Bureau of Reclamation has decided.That allows an additional 150,000 acre-feet to be delivered to farms in Fresno, Tulare,Kings and Kern counties.This is in addition to around 520,000 acre-feet of Class 1 water and 100,000 af of surplus flood release delivered earlier this spring. Friant management expects another increase in Class 1 volume from the current estimate of 65% allotment that has already been increased three times since April.Put all of it together the Friant district got zero allocation last year and this year it will receive above 800,000 acre-feet.

Tulare Signs Matheny Settlement

Tulare City attorney Martin Koczanowicz says all papers have been signed now to settle the Matheny Tract lawsuits.Some 1500 Matheny residents have been waiting 5 years after the City of Tulare agreed to supply them with clean drinking water. The 300 home,mostly Hispanic community just outside Tulare city limits is currently served by Pratt Mutual whose well system has high levels of arsenic.That is in violation of the maximum contaminant level for arsenic as far back as 2010. The state of California after mandating the city hook up the homes has agreed  to help the city with on-going capacity costs to serve the rural homes with up to $2 million says Koczanowicz.

FedEx Could Get More Space At Visalia Airport

Federal Express may lease up to 20,000sf for a new hangar at the Visalia airport according to a closed door agenda item heard this week. The company’s current lease at the airport is up soon and the city has offered to build a larger hangar that could accommodate bigger FedEx planes boosting the package express business here. The city has some FAA money it can use to help fund the project that they got because the city opted out of the fed’s scheduled passenger airline subsidy program.

Burger Kings Plans New Ben Maddox Location

H&G Foods of Visalia is filed tentative plans to build a new Burger King restaurant on the northwest corner of Douglas and Ben Maddox where a small car wash has stood for years.

Kaweah Delta Wants Office Space In Former Surplus City Building

Kaweah Delta hospital wants to lease 8000 sf of space on Main Street for office use according a site plan review filed with city this week.The space is in the former Surplus City building.CEO Lindsay Mann says the space would be used for clerical staff relocating  out of more expensive space.

Regal Theaters Extends Lease At Sequoia Mall

Sequoia Mall owner Dave Paynter says Regal Theaters has opted to extend their lease another five years at the mall.Paynter has been studying options to remake the old mall in a new vision. Paynter says the news means Regal rival Maya Theaters who wants to open a multi-screen movie house in Visalia faces a location challenge since there are first run movie agreements based on territory in place.”Our understanding is that there cant be another first run multiplex on south Mooney “other than the current one operated by Regal. They also run the theater Downtown. Rival developer Patrick Orosco told this reporter he wants to “dust off plans” filed in 2013 to build a megaplex called The Grove on his land just off So Mooney. But the latest plan filed with the city calls for a 30,000sf building,smaller than the typical megaplex. Orosco’s plan will be heard May 18.

Developer Wants To Organize Visalia Food Truck Hub

Businessman Jaron Cortz wants to organize a place to stage multiple food trucks serving hot food on a regular basis somewhere in Downtown Visalia. His latest plan calls for using a lightly used city parking lot on Mineral King across the street from the Groppetti property,the former Putman Windh dealerships. City planner Josh McDonnell says the idea has been floated several times recently as the popularity of multi-cuisine food trucks has taken off on the West Coast.

Visalia Doc Wants To Build 30,000sf Office

Dr Jonathon Liu, hand specialist, has relocated his office to Sunnyside off Mooney and wants to build a 30,000 three-story building next door according to a site plan filed with the city this week.

City Of Visalia Eyes Majority Ballot Measure

The Visalia City Council is expected to back a half cent November ballot measure this week to raise the sales tax that would require only a majority approval rather than a two-thirds vote of the electorate.By passing a tax that goes to the city’s general fund rather than get specific – the city does not need two-thirds to move forward.They say that approximately 40% of the tax will be paid from individuals living outside of Visalia as they shop in Visalia.

Aquaculture Project Could Come To Lindsay

An aquaculture-fish farm may be the latest company to make a go of it in the old Lindsay Olive plant in Lindsay. The unnamed firm has approached the city saying they could employ up to 200 workers. The property owned by frozen food maker Tulare Foods is for sale.

New Construction Office On Mooney Near Prosperity

Greg Nunley plans to build a 8500sf office for his construction company Driven Construction.The development also includes a warehouse.The May 27 meeting of the county planning commission will take up a zone change request to allow the project.

Air Conditioning Service To Build

In April the county planning commission approved a project by Martino Starace to build a 6250 sf office and shop that will employ 15  at Ave 252 just west of Mooney.
Kaweah Delta Looks At Gastroenterology Program

Kaweah Delta plans to organize an in-house gastroenterology (GI) hospitalist program following a report in April that found  an “ extraordinary large volume of patients with GI issues presenting to our ED” requiring some patients to be transferred to other California hospitals.The new docs would be employees of the health care district. GI ailments include irritable bowel problems,bleeding, gallstones,ulcers and acid reflux.

FHCN Going Solar

Family HealthCare Network is installing several new solar units to power their facilities including a $2 million solar array system at their Porterville headquarters as well as smaller units at clinics like one being erected in Farmersville.

Orosco/Tulare Near Deal on Land

At a May 17 meeting the City of Tulare is expected to move toward finalizing the sale of commercial land to Orosco Development to accommodate two new retailers at city-owned land at Cross and J Street.

Serrano Furniture Finalizes Tulare Development Plan

At their May 17 city council meeting Tulare is expected to approve an easement for public utilities with Joe Serrano allowing him to build a 16,000 sf retail building for the family furniture business and a 10,662 warehouse on Bardsley west of Blackstone.The company has been on the grow expanding from Delano to 7 more Valley locations.

Exeter Ace Hardware To House Three Antique Dealers

The vacant Ace Hardware, Exeter Mercantile store on Pine Street in Exeter is getting a makeover to divide the space into thirds housing antique dealers.

Nut Farmer Gives To Fresno State

Los Angeles-based The Wonderful Co. has established a $500,000 endowment at California State University, Fresno to support research in the new Jordan Agricultural Research Center. Fresno State president Joseph Castro announced the gift May 13 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Fresno State is rapidly becoming one of the top agricultural education and research institutions in the country,” Stewart and Lynda Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Co., said in a news release. “As an agriculture industry leader and one of the world’s largest growers of citrus, nuts and pomegranates, we have a vested interest in the future of farming. We are pleased to lend our support to this unique research facility, which will further the science of agriculture and train our next generation of industry leaders.”

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