Chowchilla starts new industrial incentive program
Looks to highlight location between highways 99 and 152
New city administrator says it worked in city where he was formerly employed
Chowchilla’s new city administrator didn’t waste time pushing for incentives in an attempt to get industrial developers to expand or to move their companies to the city just off of highways 99 and 152.
Chowchilla City Council approved the new incentives last month which could benefit industry by reducing start-up costs. The city would benefit if the industrial developers brought jobs to town and, in turn, improved property and sales tax revenues locally.
Brian Haddix, the city administrator, was hired by the council in May. He said the incentives Chowchilla adopted are similar to those he used in his last job as Sanger’s city manager.
“I did this in Sanger and it really caught the attention of major businesses,” he said.
The reduction in developer fees for every permanent local job created
The city will reduce developer fees by $3,500 for every permanent local job created that meets the criteria of the program, according to city records. The job must pay a minimum of $15 per hour, provide employee benefits and last for at least 12 consecutive months.
The jobs are also required to be new and not just replacements for open positions. Other incentives include a delay in fee payments or a reduction in the payments, according to city records.
Haddix said the incentives target industrial jobs because of the Valley’s agriculture-heavy economy, and the sector’s potential to bare a large number of jobs.
Chowchilla could benefit from new jobs in town. The Madera-Chowchilla unemployment rate is 9.8 percent, which is higher than the state average, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
THE CITY COUNCIL WANTS ALL THE WORLD TO KNOW THAT CHOWCHILLA IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. AS THE CALIFORNIA ECONOMY BEGINS TO REBOUND, CHOWCHILLA IS POISED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ITS ABUNDANT PRIME REAL ESTATE LOCATED AT THE INTERSECTION OF TWO MAJOR HIGHWAYS.
Mayor John Chavez
During his time in Sanger, Haddix was credited with helping turn the city around, which, at least in part, included the implementation of the incentive program. When he got to Sanger in 2010, it showed a deficit of more than $600,000, according to the Sanger Herald, but it has sprung back into the black.
Mayor John Chavez said Highway 152 serves as a gateway to the Silicon Valley and Highway 99 links together larger cities within the San Joaquin Valley. So there’s potential for Chowchilla to be at the center of industrial growth, he said, noting its 256 acres of land zoned for industrial development.
“The City Council wants all the world to know that Chowchilla is open for business,” he said in a statement. “As the California economy begins to rebound, Chowchilla is poised to take advantage of its abundant prime real estate located at the intersection of two major highways.”
|Chowchilla News Day
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