Porterville returns to EDC after one-year hiatus

Porterville City Council votes in favor of spending $25,000 to return to Tulare County Economic Development Corporation

PORTERVILLE – With public budgets withstanding the threat of the pandemic, thanks in part to American Rescue Plan Act dollars, cities are ready to start reinvesting into economic development.

This month the Porterville City Council voted to rejoin the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) with an annual membership fee of $25,000.

Porterville was a founding member of the EDC in 1983, and remained actively and consistently involved in its operation and funding since the organization’s inception until the past fiscal year in the height of the pandemic. The EDC was formed in 1983 by the County of Tulare and the county’s eight incorporated cities for the express purpose of recruitment of new industry locating to Tulare County.

Given current financial challenges and consideration of economic development priorities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the cities of Exeter, Farmersville and Lindsay acted to discontinue their membership in the EDC last fiscal year. At their meeting on July 21, 2020, the Porterville City Council followed suit.

Recently, the cities of Farmersville and Lindsay decided to rejoin the EDC this fiscal year. If the city of Exeter also decides to rejoin that would put the group membership back at eight public members.

Just this summer the EDC helped bring in a hydrogen production company to Porterville, who is looking to make renewable fuel. They are studying a possible site in the city corporation yard, according to a report.

Asked about the likelihood that all eight of the original members would once again join the organization, new CEO Nathan Ahle suggested it “is a vote of confidence in the direction we are taking.” Ahle was appointed to the leadership position this spring.

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