nursery to be established in the city.
As scheduled, the Porterville City Council will hold a public hearing and consider approving a conditional use permit for Sunburst Packing Company to develop a nursery at 180 South E. Street at its next meeting. The board will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
In November, the Project Review Committee reviewed the application for a nursery development for Sunburst Packing Company last November. Sunburst Packing proposes to use its existing facilities of approximately 53,700+ square feet for a nursery with the potential for indoor and outdoor growing areas. The facility was previously used to operate a citrus packing facility.
The site plan identifies indoor growing areas in pre-existing buildings, with one building having 13,400 square feet of ground floor space and 13,400 square feet of basement space. Another building has 4,800 square feet and the third building has 5,600 square feet of floor space. The site plan also includes a fourth building with a floor area of over 10,400 square feet as an open loading area for the operation.
There is a fifth building of over 2,500 square feet and a sixth building of 3,600 square feet for storage areas.
In addition to the pre-existing buildings that are proposed to be used as a nursery, the applicant proposes the use of a newly constructed shade structure as an outdoor growing area of nearly 50,000 square feet. The operation would consist of growing the plants in the outdoor growing area for most of the year during which time the plants would only be moved to the indoor growing buildings in the winter. The shade structure requires a building permit.
Following the PRC meeting, staff conducted a tour of the facility on December 3, 2021. During the facility tour, staff noticed that unauthorized improvements had been made to the facility to the point of raising concerns about the structural integrity of the structure. . On December 23, a first Notice and Order was issued requiring the facility to be inspected by a structural engineer.
On January 19, staff were informed that the facility was not safe to occupy. On January 21, a building was declared unsafe to occupy.
On April 13, staff met with the applicant and reviewed the project requirements. On April 20, a building permit application was filed and a permit was issued on April 22 to make the required temporary improvements.
On April 24, a temporary occupancy was issued for the building. The CUP’s draft conditions of approval include provisions requiring the applicant to submit plans and apply for building permits to ensure that unauthorized improvements meet all standards, including the shade structure to be used for outdoor growing area.
In addition, the draft conditions of approval include a provision for a semi-annual building and fire department inspection of the facility. City staff recommended that the conditional use permit be approved subject to the conditions of approval.
On January 1, 2022, the state certified Porterville’s population at 62,345. After originally thinking this was a substantial increase in the city’s population over the past year, it was actually a slight decrease.
As of January 1, 2021, the population of the city of Porterville was estimated at 59,491. But a recently revised estimate had the city’s population at 62,515 for 2021. So the city’s population is now estimated to have decreased by 170 over the past year.
State figures show Tulare County’s population increased slightly over the past year, from 474,032 to 475,014. Visalia’s population increased from 141,279 to 142,091 and Tulare’s population increased from 69,220 to 69,462. Lindsay’s population increased from 12,624 to 12,566.
As part of its consent schedule, the council is expected to authorize Mayor Martha A. Flores to sign the state certification of the city’s population.
COMPLETE WATER TREATMENT REPAIR
GSE Construction has completed repairs to digesters 2 and 3 at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The steel dome covers of both digesters were damaged and an obsolete heat exchanger and digester gas flare were also replaced.
The total cost of the project was expected to be nearly $2.7 million. The project was funded from the sewage treatment facility’s capital reserve funds.
The total cost of the project was nearly $300,000 lower than expected, as the total cost of the project was just over $2.4 million. As part of its approval schedule, the board must accept the project as complete.
While sewage treatment repairs were within budget, which has been the case for a number of projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, that was not the case with a proposed sewer project.
The island annexation sewer project for Area 457, which covers Highway 65 to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and Chess Terrace Street to the east was expected , would cost less than $1.4 million. But the lowest bid for the project came from Bill Nelson Construction of Fresno at $1.8 million.
Taking into account construction contingencies and management costs, the total cost of the project will be over $2.1 million. It is City Council policy to reject bids that are 10 percent more than the expected cost.
But the board again, as it has to do on many other projects, will have to decide whether to accept the lowest current offer even if it greatly exceeds the projected cost. City staff reported that while favorable bids may be received if the project is resubmitted, the likelihood of this happening in the current market is low and delays could jeopardize project financing.
City staff has recommended that council award the bid to Bill Nelson Construction and council will consider the bid as a planned matter. Funding for the project will come from sewer revenue bonds, participation certificates.
As part of its consent schedule, council is expected to approve advertising to be placed on city buses announcing the opening of the temporary library adjacent to Grocery Outlet, scheduled for this month. The temporary library will replace the library that was destroyed in the February 18, 2020 fire that killed Porterville Fire Captain Ray Figueroa and firefighter Patrick Jones until the permanent library can be completed.
Bus advertising will run from July 1 to December 31. The cost will be nearly $6,200. The Friends of the Library will pay $3,000 and the rest will come from the library’s general fund account.
As part of its consent schedule, the council will consider approving the award of grants from the state’s Permanent Local Housing Benefit program for affordable housing and to assist the homeless. Turning Point of Central California would receive nearly $133,200 for the city’s navigation center, just over $144,000 for emergency housing, and $53,275 for Casa de Robles. The Central California Family Crisis Center would also receive $175,100.