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Around Tulare County: Local Auto Sales Rev Up / Much More

June 27,2014

Auto Sales Rev Up 13 Percent Here

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 2.22.33 PMVisalia’s largest car dealer Don Groppetti says auto and truck sales in the Visalia market are up a strong 13% year over year. That’s more than double the state average for new registrations of 5.6% in the first quarter of the year. The sales pickup is good news for more than dealers since car sales are a major component of tax revenues for the city. The City of Visalia just passed their new 2-year budget this week estimating a 3% increase each year in sales tax revenue.

Mr Groppetti is remodeling the former Putnam Wind showroom on Mineral King into office space. He says all the car related uses at his Burke and Mineral King properties will be “converted to office-use long term.” For now the 13,7600sf building furthest west on Mineral King will be divided into 2 spaces,a 5000sf space for lease and the remainder into offices for Groppetti’s radio broadcasting enterprise, Momentum Broadcasting.That business will be relocating from Exeter to Visalia this fall.

Tulare Regional Medical Center Cuts Some Losses

Tulare’s struggling hospital’s latest finances show operating income still in the red but less red than this time last year. So far this fiscal year through May, operating income is at a minus $5.7 million compared to a loss of $8.1 million this time last year. TRMC had hoped to be doing better with a budget expectation of a $2.2 million loss. Gross patient  revenue has declined more than $20 million year-over-year. Some good news – surgery cases are up 10% year-to-date and up 26% in May. Still the average hospital census in May was 36 patients compared to the budget plan of 48. The district is hiring a new contractor to complete the exterior of their new tower.

Fewer Cars Stolen Statewide,Up In Tulare County

California saw a slight decrease in vehicle theft in 2013. The two percent decline is a positive sign for the state, following an 11 percent surge in vehicle theft in 2012. According to statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol, more than 171,000 vehicles were stolen statewide in 2013, which is an estimated value of $1 billion. While the trend was positive statewide,Tulare County saw a 7.5% increase.The good news – recoveries were up 15%. The Honda Accord continues to be the car that thieves most love to steal.

County Will Shut Down Visalia Health Center Pharmacy

Tulare County will close the Visalia Health Center pharmacy on Dinuba Blvd by Sept 1. Clients will be referred to Rite Aid locations.The closure comes as the ACA and Medical has changed how meds are prescribed  to indigent patients.The pharmacy was serving 74 patients a day prior to January but since – the patient load has dropped to 27 a day says a notice. Some 7 pharmacists worked at the facility.

Dinuba Seeks To Boost Downtown With Historic Designation

The city of Dinuba is starting the ball rolling on designating a Downtown property historic in hopes the tax breaks and designation will boost property values. The city is beginning on their own property including the landmark E Howard & Co street clock. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission hopes private owners will follow.Owners of historic designated sites are able to take advantage of a number of benefits, including property tax breaks through the Mills Act, building code relief through the State Historic Building Code, and relaxation of Zoning Ordinance rules.

Developer Seeks OK To Build Western Dental In Dinuba

The Dinuba Planning Commission will hear a plan to rezone 7 properties on West El Monte from Multi-Family to C4 Commercial at their July 8 meeting. AngelSpeed LLC wants to build a Western Dental facility and second commercial building on 6 of them and another developer plans offices on the remainder.

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