City Council passes economic strategy
by PI Staff
Jul 31, 2013 | 875 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Patterson City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday, July 16, to implement an economic development plan put together by the Economic Strategic Commission and former interim City Manager Jim Reis. The plan previously passed the Economic Strategic Commission May 23 unanimously.

The plan recommended increased workforce training, a marketing program to promote Patterson’s assets and hiring a new city economic development director.

Reis, now a consultant, drafted the economic plan, which includes a background report that showcases the city’s demographics, finances and available development sites.

Among the recommendations were developing a marketing program to promote, target and expand business operations in Patterson.

The plan calls for reducing taxes and regulations on local businesses through state and federal legislators to further economic development.

City staff will be putting a team together to implement the plan from existing city staff and will not be immediately hiring a new economic development director, according to City Manager Rod Butler.

“We’re excited to have the council endorse a list of tasks to get started,” Butler said. “We’ve got some good momentum going with Walmart and the fulfillment center. We need to keep that going.”

Butler said a team of three to five staff members including himself and City Planner Joel Andrews will be put together by later summer or early fall.

The report indicated that Patterson already has some strength to attract new business, which is “location, location, location.” That means affordable land ready to develop for business and industry near Interstate 5.

The biggest problem: lack of a qualified, trained workforce, the report noted. Lack of a sustainable water supply and sewer capacity continues to be an issue with Patterson as well, according to the report.

The city will begin work with the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance, Patterson Joint Unified School District and Yosemite Community College District to create a cost analysis for implementing workforce-training programs very soon, Butler noted.

He said the city will begin talks with Buxton Consulting a group that put together a report on retail needs for the city of a Patterson in 2008. Many believe that report led to the eventual location of the Walmart Supercenter in Patterson earlier this year.

Contact the Irrigator at 209-892-6187 or news@patterson

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