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Population Group Makes Recommendations

Sonora, CA — A group looking at ways to grow the population base in Tuolumne County has released a new report.

Tuolumne County’s population grew by just one percent over the past 10 years, which is much lower than the state average. The Population 2010 Working Group’s report looks at what led to this, and lists ideas to boost population growth. The report was supplied by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director George Segarini, who helped lead the group.

The report is listed below:

What were the causes?

(From one to five are in no particular order of importance)

1. Lack of businesses and industry support and diversification
2. Lack of competitive infrastructure
3. Lack of diverse demographics
4. Lack of affordability, quality and needs for specific housing
5. Perception of not being business friendly

Fixing the Problem!

1. Lack of businesses and industry support and diversification

• Improvement in the housing market that will bring back construction jobs
BIA, Real Estate, Business Council, Housing Policy Committee
• Continue recruiting for small industry
EDA & TCCC
• Expand healthcare infrastructure
Sonora Regional & Columbia College
• Need more land zoned for commercial use
City, County, EDA
• County staff needs to facilitate, not negotiate (Development)
CAO, BIA, Business Council, TCCC
• Further streamlining of planning process
• More clear language on county rules and regulations
Business Council, BIA, County
• Continue to support those organizations involved in economic development missions
• Support local business expansion
EDA, Business Council, TCCC
• That the community (including government) continue to support economic development partnerships in both political and monetary ways

2. Lack of competitive infrastructure

• Develop commercial and industrial sites where infrastructure exists
EDA
• Continue development of internet with fiber optics and high speed broadband
Local government
• Tuolumne Utilities District needs to expand water and sewer service and find means of financing
TUD
• Investment in infrastructure, i.e. roads
City, County, TCTC
• Further utilize Columbia airport/shuttle
County, private enterprise, EDA
• Improve road access/Utilize prorated share
County
• Develop partnerships
Business Alliance as an example

3. Lack of diverse demographics

• Continue to grow services
Expand medical services-Sonora Regional
• Pursue services that promote diversification
Columbia College, schools
• Increase local medical market share that will create more healthcare jobs
• Develop a community place for young people, like a YMCA

4. Lack of affordability, quality and needs for specific housing

• More choices and attractive pricing
Real estate market-need for Town Homes
• Incentive for more specific housing
Realtors
• Need to make higher density work in county
Public support for projects
• Rehab older homes
Government grants, publicize
• Education and marketing to retirees and young families branding Tuolumne County as a place to locate and promote affordable home prices
Realtors, BIA

5. Perception of not being business friendly

• Celebrate our successes
EDA, TCCC
• “How can we make this work”-Development philosophy
Simplify process, collaboration of county offices
• Publicize positive changes
EDA, expand outlets
• Continue to improve government Customer Service
• Upfront disclosure for development of construction projects
CRA, know all that is required for a project up front