F’ville plants seed for industrial park
For years Farmersville has been trying to attract a major retailer to anchor the east side of Farmersville Boulevard and the City’s entrance into town off Highway 198. And while there hasn’t been much activity on that front, there is a lot going on across the street.
On Aug. 16, the City of Farmersville opened the public comment period on a Negative Declaration for business site development on the west side of Farmersville Boulevard at Terry Avenue.
Interim City Manager Mario Krstic said three industrial companies are considering a move to the 113-acre site, including Dunn’s Sand, ImModo Solar and Atlas Walnuts. Dunn’s Sand of Visalia is a construction company specializing in earth moving, grading, paving and sealing. Krstic said Dunn’s Sand is proposing to build a an asphalt recycling center on the property, where it can accept old asphalt from its own construction site or others and break it down to be reused as new asphalt. Dunn’s Sand is nearly finished with its environmental reports and was approved by the Farmersville Planning Commission last week, Krstic said.
“These businesses will not be generating direct sales tax revenues for the City, but they are bringing jobs and those people will be spending money in town,” Krstic said. “These are important projects to Farmesville.”
ImMoto Solar is a Spanish-owned company that has recently turned its attention to the Central Valley. ImModo is currently building eight 6-megawatt solar farms in the Valley, including Farmersville, Exeter, Lindsay and Ivanhoe. The smaller solar farms are becoming more popular as they generate power that will be used by electricity consumers near them. ImModo’s solar farms generate power which is purchased by Southern California Edison to offset peak demand hours during peak demand seasons, such as summer. The Farmersville solar farm would be the first of ImModo’s to be located within city limits in Tulare County. Krstic said the City Council should consider a lot line adjustment by ImModo next month to consolidate three parcels into one, 40-acre parcel as the first step in implementing its next solar farm.
Visalia-based Atlas Walnuts will be moving its walnut processing and dehydration facility to Farmersville in the future. The City Council received a presentation of the company’s plans in October 2011.
Atlas, a subsidiary of Blain Farms, is planning to build four buildings on four properties including a 34,000-square-foot cold storage, 20,000-square foot processing plant, 16,000 square foot shipping and receiving docks and 29,000 square foot equipment storage shop and a commercial truck scale. During peak season, from September to February, the facility will employ 150 people and have about 12 truck trips per day. The rest of the year the plant will employ about 100 people. There will be 133 spaces for parking.
Krstic said the company will proceed with plans once they have all of their financing in order to begin construction of the new plant.
Krstic said the preliminary engineering analysis includes water quality and quantity, wastewater, storm drainage and streets within the site. According to the document, the site would need a new water well to support development and a lift station for parcels north of the Tulare Irrigation District canal.
“This document is just so the City knows what we are looking at financially to provide public utilities and other services to improve this site,” Krstic said.
A copy of the proposed Negative Declaration is available for review at Farmersville City Hall, located at 909 W. Visalia Road, during normal business hours until 5 p.m. on Sept. 16, 2013. The City Council will consider the document for a vote at a regularly scheduled meeting sometime after Sept. 16. For questions, contact Interim City Manager Mario Krstic at 559-747-0458.