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Around Tulare County:

Electronic Firm Expansion Gets Hearing

Heilind Electronics, distributor of connectors, switches and relays, plans to build a 125,000 square foot warehouse in the Visalia Industrial Park and will get a hearing at a city Planning Commission March 27. The development will seek approval to add another 25,000sf as well at their potential new location at the NE corner of Neely and Hurley.

Fast Food Updates

A new Burger King is being proposed at the northwest corner of Ben Maddox and Douglas and a Del Taco is proposing their second Visalia location near the southeast corner of Dinuba and Riggin. Coming in March will be a permit request by the developer of the vacant Weatheryby’s building to replace it with a fast food drive-thru and several retailers at the city planning commission. No word on which fast food operator is expected but the rumor is Dunkin Donuts.

Industrial Park Projects

In the Visalia Industrial park, two new buildings are in the works. One, a 6,000 square foot facility for Comfort Now, a local air conditioning and heating company, the other a 8,000 square foot facility for an ammonia refrigeration service. To top it off, local manufacturer Voltage Multipliers is expanding with a new equipment room addition to their location on W. Roosevelt.

Plan Would Widen Highway 198 To 6 Lanes

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 6.31.41 PMThe Visalia City Council looked to future this week along the198 corridor between HWY 99 and Farmersville in a preliminary plan prepared by Caltrans. A key proposal is adding two lanes to the existing (four to six lanes) between SR 99 to Lovers Lane. The widening will be to the outside between SR 99 to west of Akers Street. The widening will be to the inside median between west of Akers Street to west of Lovers Lane. The study includes interchanges and ramp improvements and the redevelopment of the Lovers Lane interchange,
With a time line to start phased improvements in 2025 the price tag for SR 99 to west of Akers Street: PROJECT INITIATION: 2025, ESTIMATED COST: $19-24M.
Project 2 – west of Akers Street to west of Lovers Lane: PROJECT INITIATION: 2020, ESTIMATED COST: $73-94M.

Former Odwalla Juice Plant For Lease

Fresno-based Fowler Packing bought the now vacant Odwalla Juice plant in Dinuba last summer but has now decide to leave it idle – instead putting the place up for lease in whole or part. Plant includes two cold storage facilities. Space adds up to 304,832 SF. Odwalla, owned by Coke, closed suddenly last April laying off 164 workers.

City Council Will Consider Buying County Annex

The Tulare County Courthouse Annex building has been vacant for many years. During the February 6 Visalia Council meeting, Council member Greg Collins indicated an interest in directing staff to enter into discussions with County of Tulare staff regarding the disposition of the building, particularly regarding plans and a timeline to refurbish and reoccupy the facility. Options to facilitate the rehabilitation of the building would also be discussed.
If it is approved by council, staff will initiate contact with County of Tulare management to ascertain the County’s plans for the facility and report back.

Tule Indians Will Get Electric Buses

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. who is building an electric bus manufacturing plant in Porterville announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tule River Economic Development Corporation this month for the acquisition of all-electric buses to replace existing fleet. The plan would replace up to ten buses with the acquisition of two EV 550 all-electric double-decker buses, two all-electric shuttle buses, two all-electric low floor transit buses and four all-electric school buses. GreenPower will also provide the required charging infrastructure and develop a solar collection for a sustainable energy source for the benefit of the Tule River Indian Tribe. Some the diesel buses date to 1987. The two parties will seek grants and other funding including the VW mitigation fund to help pay for the buses.

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