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Around Tulare County : Visalia / Tulare Prepare To Vote

Screen shot 2012-05-11 at 8.49.02 AMVisalia Sales Tax To Be Decided August 1

Despite calls for making the proposed new half-cent sales tax measure require a two-thirds vote this November the majority on the Visalia City Council appear to be ready to keep it a simple 50% plus one vote. The higher threshold threshold would insure the monies would be used for an exact purpose. But most on the council said that was not necessary. The half-cent tax would bring in some $10 million a year to fund a list of services including public safety, roads, facilities and perhaps other programs.

Tulare Healthcare Vote Start August 1

Tulare voters can begin voting by mail August 1 on the proposed bond measure to increase the local hospital’s debt by $55 million.The last day to vote by mail is August 23 says the county elections department.The bond monies would be used to complete the unfinished tower project. The measure requires a 66.67 percent majority. The hospital could close by 2030 unless it upgrades its seismic standards.

Tribe Works To Relocate Casino To Porterville Airport

Members of the Tule Indian Tribal Council told the county Board of Superiors July 20 they were moving forward on plans to relocate the Eagle Mountain Casino to the Porterville Airport area where they own land if they can come up with an agreement with the state. The casino is celebrating its 20th anniversary at its current site some 15 miles off Hwy 190 on reservation land. The plan is to build a 250 room hotel,a 20,00sf convention center as well as a casino where the public has easier access. Paperwork is been filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe’s current newsletter says the casino has made a huge difference with employment now over 500.Tule River Tribal Chairman Neil Peyron is quoted saying “We started as trailers, now we have a great facility. I am proud of this facility and I thank those responsible.” In a related matter the tribe told the county they were having both drought and tree mortality problems They plan to raise several Tule River dams from about 3 ft to 12 ft. A crew of about 30 work to cut dead trees and put the wood to use.

County Jobless Rate Rises On Fewer Farm Jobs

The unemployment rate in the Tulare County was 10.8 percent in June 2016, up from a revised 9.4 percent in May 2016, and below the year-ago estimate of 11.0 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.7 percent for California and 5.1 percent for the nation during the same period. Fewer farm jobs in June compared to May resulted in the month over month climb.

Tulare Voice Newspaper’s Future In Doubt

Tulare Voice newspaper is facing a possible closure says it owner Justin Stoner who has moved to the Central Coast.  Stoner says he hopes someone can carry on with the paper that has been largely an online effort for several years.Its last posting was in May. The paper had it origins when it was part of Valley Voice newspaper in Visalia. After around 2010 the Tulare Voice and Valley Voice went their own way and had no affiliation.Tulare Voice’s main writer until a year ago was veteran reporter Julie Fernandez who retired then.

 We Are Consuming Less OJ But More Oranges

Americans are consuming a lot less OJ than they used to.USDA figures show orange juice consumption per capita is now down to a forecasted 2.7 gallons this year compared to a high of 6.3 gal in 1999. Despite that we are gobbling up more oranges. The California orange crop is expected to be up 8% to 2.1 million tons. While more oranges are being sold – the price is down to $16.21 per box compared $17.78 in 2014/15.

County Says State Funds Can Build 256 Beds At New Sequoia Field Jail

Based on recent engineering work Tulare County says they can use their allocation of $40 million from the state to build a new 58,570sf jail at Sequoia Field to house 256 beds instead of only 192 as previously proposed. The county will send a letter to the state in hopes the project will not be delayed.

More Apartments Coming In Visalia

Construction of apartment complexes in Visalia are on a tear in 2016. A new 160-unit multi-family complex is set to open later this summer near the old Green Acres airport, a second 123-unit complex is expected at K Rd and Ben Maddox and now plans for a 236-unit Packwood Creek project near Costco have been filed by builder Bill Morgan. That adds up to 519 units this year compared to 690 units built citywide in the past 10 years with zero built in a number of those years.  City planner Josh McDonnell says the building pace this year is “not too cold,not too hot but just right.” The city could see around 600 apartments and 500 to 600 single family dwellings by years end.

Pistachio Farmer Plans New Processing Facility

Visalia-based Eriksson LLC is seeking a permit to build a 20 million pound capacity pistachio processing plant with nuts gathered from Eriksson orchards in west Fresno County near Riverdale. From August through October the plant would hull,dry,process and store the nuts employing 40 people on a seasonal basis and five workers year-round.

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