After hearing from two Hanford officials who visited similar facilities in San Jose and in Canada recently the town’s city council gave a tentative green light to plans to locate a huge indoor pot growing facility in the Hanford Industrial Park. “We found them to be very impressive facilities, not what we were expecting” said Police Chief Parker Sever in his report on a fact finding trip.
The eye opening plan to grow medical marijuana has been proposed by Oakland-based Purple Heart who says there will be 1,115 full-time jobs with some $14 million in annual tax revenue for Hanford. Chief Sever told the council about their visit. “Looking at the facilities we went to, even the district attorney was impressed. Do I think if a facility like that was in Hanford I could regulate it? I do.” Representatives of Purple Heart will now be invited to a future city council meeting to tell them more about their business plan.For now council asked staff to draft an ordinance that would allow for medical marijuana cultivation facilities in heavy industrial zones, prohibited now. The facility is the long-vacant Armstrong / Pirrelli Tire building, about a million square feet, that was once the city’s largest employer.
Mortgage Rates Climb To 4 Percent
The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage hit 4 percent this week, according to Mortgage News Daily, a level most analysts did not expect to see this fast.BankRate on Friday put the average at 4.01%. Rates are up half a percentage point since Donald Trump was elected president. A rise in bond rates makes mortgage rates move higher. The yield on the 10-year note hit a 52 week high Monday – good news for savers but not for home buyers. You may not want to wait much longer to lock in your rate if you are buying or refinancing a home. Predictably, total mortgage applications fell 9.2 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association but the volume was 12 percent higher than one year ago.
Dollar Climbs – Negative For Exports
Local farmers are mostly cheering the election of Donald Trump who swept rural farm counties by 90% nationwide. Ditto for Tulare and Kings Counties. Famers see a benefit to less regulation and expect a loosing of restrictions on moving water
south in California. Already expectation of tax cuts has led to a market rally that has had a less publicized effect – driving the dollar index up 2.6 percent against six other major currencies since election day. The index has jumped to a 14-year high.The dollar is up 10 percent vs the peso, affecting trade with Mexico – the US’s third-largest trading partner. Tulare County ships some 2.6 million cartons of fruit to Mexico annually, our third largest export destination. If the dollar continues to move higher, our goods will be more expensive in Mexico and elsewhere while Mexican farmers will have an advantage selling into the US market.
Kettleman Water System Hearing Next Month
Kettleman City’s long wait for clean water is a bit shorter now that the State Water Resources Control Board has set a December 6 meeting to finalize a grant to the community. With the grant the local CSD will have everything in place to build a $9.6 million drinking water treatment plant that will take about 18 months to construct. The latest hurdle was an extra 8-month survey for endangered critters near the construction site required by regulators. Joseph McGahan, an engineer with the Kettleman City Community Service District, says the study found no blunt-nosed leopard lizards or anything else near the construction site adjacent the California Aqueduct where the water will be be drawn. “We should be able to go out to bid in January” says McGahan. The town has suffered from high levels of arsenic and benzene in the community’s only water wells. Now people will have clean surface water. Funding has come from the county, the state and USDA.
Gas Prices Lower
Gas prices are heading lower for Thanksgiving with wholesale prices dropping over 30 cents in the past few days. California’s average price has already gone down from $2.81 to 2.71 since the first of November. “The price drops are good news for more than 3 million Southern Californians who will drive 50 miles or more to Thanksgiving holiday destinations and probably pay the lowest prices since 2008, when Thanksgiving gas prices averaged about $2.20 a gallon,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring.
Tulare County Plans New Facilities
Tulare County plans to buy property on Lovers Lane for a new Mental Health facility. The property is the former Tulare Kings Builders Exchange,a 5265sf office with a 30 car parking lot to be bought for $1.2 million. The project will be funded through the state.
The county is also developing a $10.6 million Transit Operations and Maintenance facility in mid county at Ave 256 and Rd 140. The yard will include a CNG fueling station.
Tulare County has sent a letter to Southern California Edison threatening legal action over SCE’s slow pace of utility poll relocation along Ave 280 where widening is underway.