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AROUND KINGS COUNTY / HSRail / Jail / Sales Tax / Roundabouts

June 23,2014
Screen shot 2012-07-02 at 8.33.40 AMHSR Contractor Seeks Small Business Subcontractors In Kings County

With a stated goal to have a 30% Small Business participation,Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, the contractor building the Central Valley’s HS rail segments will be coming to Hanford July 7 to talk to local firms who might want to subcontract. TPZP executives will host a small business outreach networking event to connect with all interested parties. Small Businesses will meet TPZP and learn more about opportunities on HSR Construction Package 2-3, through Kings County. The meeting is  Monday, July 7, 2014 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m at the City of Hanford Civic Auditorium,400 North Douty Street, Hanford. RSVP by July 2, 2014 to:

Jail Expansion Bid Approved But 17 Percent Higher Than Engineer Estimate

The new Kings County jail renovation and expansion is just the latest big public safety project to take shape around the government center in Hanford with a bids approved by the Board of Supervisors recently to Roebbelen Contracting for $32,180,000,some 17% over engineers estimate of $27 million.

A few years ago the best thing about the recession was that major public works projects got built for less.No more as “contractors are busy” explains Rebecca Campbell, the county’s Deputy Administrator. Nevertheless,the county is desperate for more jail space and this project will deliver that in 18 months from a July 28 groundbreaking.

The new jail includes 67,390sf of new space adding 144 beds – making a total of 252- counting the existing beds.The project is being funded through AB890.

This is the second phase with phase 1 underway along with a new morgue being built nearby. Campbell says the county expects more funding for mental health beds with none available now.
Of course the jail project will connect with the new 144,460sf Kings County Courthouse under construction now and slated to be completed by fourth quarter of 2015.  The jail will connect with an underground tunnel to the new 12 courtroom facility.
The county has seen a crush of new inmates in recent years and in 2012 they were forced to release over 1000 inmates back on the streets.
Regarding the bidding atmosphere a recent report said public works projects are now competing for contractors with resurgent private sector development and a smaller field of contractors. Last September, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) reported that spending on private residential and commercial projects outstripped spending on public sector projects.”

Hanford Plan Would Boost Sales Tax

The new Hanford General Plan has some interesting figures on the city’s sale tax picture. In the multi-year budget being proposed  – the city estimates the city sales tax revenue will rise from around $6.3 million in the 2013 /14 fiscal year to $6.5 million in the 2014/15 budge t year and $6.8 million in  the 2015/16 fiscal year.

The General Plan report done by by Quad Knopf says ‘the biggest retail sales leakage for Hanford is seen within the retail category of Gasoline Stations. For the year 2012, the retail spending potential for Hanford was $40,790,813 however, only $24,601,580 was captured in overall retail sales. This resulted in a 40% leakage rate. Compared to Tulare, Visalia, Fresno and Kings County, Hanford has higher per capita retail sales in the following categories: Grocery, Building Materials, and Auto Dealers & Supplies. In referencing the total general retail sales per capita, Hanford has the overall higher values compared to every other jurisdiction listed above except Visalia.

The 2013 retail vacancy rate in Hanford is 10.2%, which is higher than both Kings County and the Greater Fresno Market. As of 2013, Hanford had 372 businesses within the BID (Business Improvement District) with 38 available locations for lease or rent. Similarly, the average asking retail lease rate per month is higher than both Fresno County and the Greater Fresno Market.

Roundabouts Coming To Kings County?

Currently, there are no existing roundabouts in Hanford or in Kings County. Caltrans is exploring the use of roundabouts at a number of State highway intersections, including SR 43/SR 137 in Corcoran. A 2007 study of 55 roundabouts in the U.S. found a 35% reduction in accidents and a 90% reduction in fatal accidents when intersections with stop signs or signals were converted to roundabouts. It costs about the same to construct a roundabout as part of a new development as it does to build traffic signals, and requires significantly less maintenance than traffic signal intersections. The Villagio project, a 320-acre master planned community in northwest Hanford, is proposed to build a number of roundabouts as part of the approved overall development.

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