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Around Tulare County : ALDI / Kaweah Delta / More

July 22,2017-

ALDI Market Heading to Hanford, Porterville, Eyes Visalia

German-based ALDI Market, the parent company of Trader Joe’s, plans to open new ALDI stores in the Central Valley says Jeffrey Luna, Central Valley Director of Real Estate. “We have 38 stores open now in southern California and Bakersfield and hope to have 50 open by year’s end.”

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The company is in final negotiations for sites in Porterville and Hanford and is scouting locations in Visalia he says..

ALDI builds prototype stores of around 22,000sf. They offer a full-line of meats and produce as well as beer and wine along with dry goods.The company seeks to be the low cost leader in a region competing with Walmart on price says Luna. “We’re 21% cheaper” he adds.

ALDI announced recently a major US expansion that would make it the third largest grocery store by number in the US. It would serve 100 million customers per month.

Employment is 15 to 25 full-time jobs.

In Hanford the company has picked out a location on the southwest corner of 12th and Lacey in a shopping center with Chipotle and Habit.

In Porterville they want to locate  at the corner of Jaye and Hwy 190.

In Visalia they want to be on Mooney says Luna.

Luna says the Porterville and Hanford stores could open by summer 2018.

Visalia To Take Up Cannabis Issue

Visalia City Manager Mike Olmos confirms the city council will take up  the issue of what approach the city will decide on regards cannabis likely at their first meeting in August. Council member Steve Nelsen says he thinks the council will reject the idea of allowing commercial cannabis growing within the city limits.”We are a pretty conservative community and pretty conservative council with some exceptions” he quips.

Other smaller towns nearby seem to be taking a different direction including Hanford Coalinga, Corcoran, Woodalke and Farmersville. 

New Tulare Hospital Board Likely To Meet In Early August

Expected To Seek New Legal Representation

The new majority on the Tulare hospital district board will have to wait until the county certifies the most recent recall of Dr Kumar before  the new majority meets says board member Kevin Northcraft.  “The new 3-member majority will likely call a special meeting in early August” says Northcraft, who has opposed the past board’s direction and current management.

Northcraft, a past Tulare City Manager says has a list of about 25 items he would like to address with a priority of “seeking competent legal representation ” to advise the board. Northcraft says he would  favor rescinding a number of actions of the past board and change existing contracts in many cases including that with the management.

”We have probably the worst contract of any hospital in the country.”

Porterville To Get 3 More Roundabouts

CalTrans is proposing construction of 3 more roundabouts in the Porterville area. The agency filed a notice of determination   concluding the environmental review of the projects earlier this month.

Three new roundabouts – traffic circles – are being proposed at  the intersection of Westwood and Hwy 190, at Plano and Hwy 190 as well as College Ave and Plano Street.

The City of Lindsay is planning a roundabout as well, at the corer Hermosa and Westwood.

Kaweah Delta Interviewing For Top Job

The Kaweah Delta Healthcare District board is busy with interviews for the top job with the district to replace retired CEO Lindsay Mann this past week.

Chair of the board Carl Anderson says they are interviewing 6 candidates that they will then be pared down to 3 candidates before making a final decision, perhaps by the end of August.

Anderson says veteran CFO Gary Herbst has thrown his hat in the ring for the permanent CEO position.

Currently Tom Rayner is serving as interim CEO. He has been the Chief Operating Officer with the district.

Pitman Farms Will Boost Chicken Production 

Sanger-based Pitman Family Farms is expanding their free range poultry barns in different parts of Tulare County. The most recent permit application calls for the construction 20 new poultry barns in the Pixley area as well as an increase the chicken population at their existing 19 barns on the same site. 

At the 19 existing broiler houses they plan to expand capacity from to 704,000 birds from 612,000. At the 20 new barns they will have a capacity of 1,140,000 birds . With the total 39 barns the facility could accommodate almost 1.4 million birds but the company will adhere to a county permit to limit the population to 1.14 million birds, says they SJAPCD application.

Tulare County has had a poultry population of around 15 million birds sold as boilers annually. But that number is likely to increase.

Citrus Wars: California Tops Florida In 2017

For the first time in history California citrus production is now ahead of the Sunshine State of Florida, USDA figures show.

Knowing that the citrus groves in Florida have been under attack from a tropical scourge may cool any bragging rhetoric from California whose growers after all, face the same threat.

Florida has been hard-hit by deadly citrus greening disease for years now, taking its toll on the state’s sprawling acreage of orange groves.

Today Florida citrus volume is half what it was decade ago and is down one third from 2014/15.

Meanwhile California citrus farmers have planted a dizzying variety of citrus and overall citrus tonnage this year should be double what it was a decade ago.

California seem to have an edge given that our flavorful fruit is gaining in popularity while Florida’s citrus products, juice and grapefruit – are certainly not.

In their latest forecast released in July 2017, USDA says the 2016/2017 citrus crop is expected to total 95 million boxes from California while Florida’s a shrinking citrus crop, all varieties, will end up around 79 million cartons.

Ten years ago Florida’s oranges come in at 147 million boxes. In 1998 it was around 250 million boxes.

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