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Around Tulare County – Tulare EDC / La Quinta / More

August 15,2017-

Strapped Cities Force Tulare County EDC To Use Reserves

At a meeting of the Tulare County EDC August 9 the board of the Exeter-based economic development agency decide to dip into their reserve funds to keep the operation afloat this fiscal year. The board pledged $100,000 in reserves to maintain the budget at $313,000 from public sector members with another $45,00 added from private sector members.

According to a staff report about the special EDC meeting from the perspective of the the City of Porterville, both Exeter and Farmersville decided not to pay their fee this year due their strapped city budgets. In addition each of  the other 6 cities in the county will have reduced payment this year – all facing a looming retirement funding crisis. Porterville alone faces a 3-year PERS payment increase totaling $2.7 million.

The County of Tulare will add $10,000 a year as a limited member, after pulling out the organization a few years ago over a policy dispute. The County started their own economic development department.

The City of Visalia’s contribution this fiscal year will be reduced from $165,593 to $112,829 while Tulare will pay $21,00 less – now at $44,497. Meanwhile Porterville will pay $15,000 less.

The agency headed by Paul Saldana, was first launched in 1983 and aims to bring new industry and jobs to the county.

Earlimart Getting A La Quinta Hotel

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 5.15.49 PMAn Earlimart land owner and developer has filed plans with the County of Tulare to build a three-story, 67 room La Quinta Hotel and Suites. The hotel would located on the west side of Hwy 99 at Ave 56, on the north end of town.

The location is across the freeway from the new White River Plaza development that has attracted several new franchise stores and now the town’s first grocery store.

The hotel, located at 1142 Front St, will be spearheaded by Amrik Bhandal who will tear down an old 22-unit motel to clear the site for the new La QuintaThe closest La Quinta is in Bakersfield to the south and in Tulare to the north. It will be the first branded hotel in this farmworker community.

La Quinta Holdings is a leading owner, operator and franchisor of select-service hotels primarily serving the upper-midscale and midscale segments. The Company’s owned and franchised portfolio consists of more than 885 properties representing approximately 87,500 rooms located in 48 states in the U.S., and in Canada, Mexico and Honduras. More than half their locations are franchised.

Payless Shoes Closes in Hanford / Visalia Stores

Payless Shoesource has closed stores in Hanford at the Target Shopping Center on 12th Ave and in Visalia at the Packwood Creek Shopping Center. Payless stores in Visalia that are still open include the one at Visalia Mall  and at 1014 S Mooney. Also, the Payless store at the Hanford Mall remains open.

Nine New Residential Units Planned In Downtown Visalia

The Visalia Planning Commission approved a request to convert a Downtown Visalia commercial building to residential use – adding nine units at 115 N Court, between Main and Center. A hearing on the the project was held  August 14. The project is being proposed by property owner Robert Shahan. The conversion would be the largest such multi-story residential complex in the Downtown.

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