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Mayor expects brighter economic days in Turlock's future

POSTED February 19, 2013 11:43 p.m.

The days of deep budgetary cuts and expenditure freezes in Turlock should be coming to an end as new industries and developments spur the city’s economic growth.

“Turlock has turned the economic corner,” said Mayor John Lazar in his State of the City address. “We continue to see our local economy move in a positive direction forward.”

The annual address, given this morning at the Turlock Chamber of Commerce membership breakfast, touts some of the city’s successes over the past year while laying out a course of action that will put Turlock at the forefront of economic development in Stanislaus County.

The Mayor expects to see upticks in sales tax revenues over the next year as the city reaps the benefits of new retailers and manufacturers and a growing labor force. Retailers like Old Navy, Olive Garden and Ulta have brought in a significant number of employment opportunities to Turlock and when combined with the Turlock Business Incentive Initiative, has added about 400 new jobs to the community.

“These job gains are a reflection of the commitment of the City Council in doing all we can to create a business friendly climate and continue to strengthen our jobs-housing balance,” Lazar said.

It’s expected the ranks of employed in Turlock will continue to increase this year as Blue Diamond and the Walmart Neighborhood Market open their doors and U.S. Cold Storage and Sunnyside Farms look to expand their operations.

In a move that is sure to bring additional revenue into the city, Lazar announced that Pedretti Park will be the site of the NCAA Division II Fast Pitch Softball Tournament in April. Twenty-four teams from all over the region will be coming to town to participate in the championship games.

To further aid growth, Lazar said he will be bringing to the City Council in the coming weeks a Mayor’s Initiative on Economic Development and focus discussion on Turlock’s troubled roadways.

“I would like to explore the idea of placing some type of special road maintenance measure on the Turlock ballot for residents to give us the tools to fix our streets,” Lazar said.

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