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Developer Drops Bid On 80-Acre Lemoore Project / City Will Not Rejoin Kings EDC (revised)

But New Developer Surfaces

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 7.16.24 AMLast year the City of Lemoore was approached by developer William Stone of S Squared Development who entered into a 12 month option agreement of buy 80 acres at Idaho and Hwy 41 for $4.3 million. Stone sought to attract retail and hotel tenants to the site, now owned by the city, that would be rezoned for those uses if he was successful.

Now it turns out he was not and Mr Stone has rescinded his option to buy says Interim City Manger Nathan Olson.

“It’s a tough retail atmosphere out there” observes Olson, citing top retailer Walmart’s recent announcement that they would build fewer new stores in the coming year.  Lemoore continues to try to encourage Walmart to build on 22 acres they own west of Hwy 41. ”I have call to them next week coming up.”

The 80 acre parcel is slated for a roundabout and other road improvements that could help attract development still, to this vacant parcel in the Lemoore Industrial park. A shopping center is still possible.

“We have been approached by a new developer on this land” that is being discussed in closed session this week.The agenda says the party is John Kashian, whose Fresno company developed the new Costco center in Hanford.

“Our mission is to keep working to develop some key parcels” says Olson noting that also on the agenda this week is a new agreement with consultant CrisCom to act as a lobbyist in Sacramento to help seek funds for a new sewer and road improvements around the city. High on the city wish list – a 24 hr sit-down restaurant, says Olson.

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 7.19.37 AM

 

Lemoore Declines To Rejoin Kings EDC

The Lemoore City Council refused  to approve a staff recommendation they rejoin the Kings County Economic Development Corporation after  a 3 year hiatus. Before the lapse  the city and EDC had had a 45 year relationship that helped attract the city’s largest employer, Leprino, says Interim City Manager Nathan Olson.

“We are doing well working to attract retail but we need to see more economic growth in industry. That’s what they do, economic development.”

The expansion of the  Leprino East factory – Leprino West, SK Foods, Agusa, Budget Call Center – were all accomplished with the help of the Kings EDC

But back in 2014 the then Mayor Billy Siegel criticized Kings EDC quoted as saying the organization had not  provided any tangible results for several years.

“If you don’t perform, you get cut from the team,” Siegel said at the time.

Council, sans Mr Siegel, took up the new proposal but appeared to be on the same track.

On a motion to rejoin the organization- no council ever offered second after a lengthy discussion

 

Central Valley Project Begins Water Year With 8.9 million Acre-Feet Of Storage

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2018 – Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018 –  with 8.9 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs (Trinity, Shasta, Folsom, New Melones, Millerton, and San Luis Reservoir. This is 145 percent of the 15-year average annual carryover of 6.2 million acre-feet and 4 million acre-feet more than the amount  we saw in WY 2017.

“2017 was an incredible water year, and we are pleased to have bountiful water supplies,” said Regional Director David Murillo. “Now we are focusing on balance. We are heading into winter with our reservoir levels at a safe place with respect to flood control, should we experience another wet winter. At the same time, we believe we have conserved healthy storage levels in the event that we have a dry winter.”

Hopes for Kings County’s first real rain are fading this week (chance of slight precipitation Friday says NWS) even though the wet front coming in from the Pacific Northwest is helping to douse those terrible Wine Country wildfires.

Investment Firm Buys Valley Nut Property From Olam

Olam International announced in late September that it has sold 5,100 acres of its farmland assets, nut orchards in the Central Valley – to Farmland Partners Inc (FPI), one of the largest  farmland real estate investment trusts in the US, for $110.0 million.

Olam has also entered into a revenue sharing model with FPI where it will pay them a share of the annual revenue, while it continues to operate the orchards for a period of 25 years.

FPI is an internally managed real estate company that owns and seeks to acquire high quality farmland throughout North America. It owns more than 300 farms with an aggregate of 154,000 acres across seventeen states.

Olam’s Managing Director and CEO of Edible Nuts, Ashok Krishen explained the transaction: “As part of our Edible Nuts strategy, we intend to further invest in growing almonds, pistachios and walnuts in California. We have built a sizable portfolio of prime orchards and have adopted sustainable and industry leading agricultural practices in managing these orchards. We had been looking for the right partner who sees the long-term value of farming, while we are looking for an asset light model to participate in the production economics of the tree crops. Farmland Partners, whose success is based on strong partnerships with farmers, is therefore a strategic fit for our business model.”

More Than Half Of State Farmers Experience Worker Shortage Says Farm Bureau

California farmers and ranchers face chronic problems in finding and hiring qualified and willing people to work in agriculture, according to a non-scientific survey conducted by the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The informal survey of Farm Bureau members shows that more than half of responding farmers had experienced employee shortages during the past year. The figure was higher among farmers who need to hire employees on a seasonal basis — 69 percent of those farmers reported experiencing shortages. The results are similar to a survey CFBF conducted in 2012.

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