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Applegate Eyes Sonora’s Promising Retail Industry

Sonora, CA —  An October 19 public hearing date pertaining to the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center project has been confirmed by the Sonora City Council.

Sonora City Administrator Greg Applegate was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

According to Applegate the city will surrender to Sanguinetti Land Company six-tenths of an acre while in return receiving 1.2 acres. This space will be rezoned and dedicated to open space with trees in order to beautify the area adjacent to the movie theater and Applebee’s Restaurant.

As far as the overall project is concerned, Applegate says permits must still be completed with the Army Corp of Engineers, the Public Utilities Commission (for the realignment of Old Wards Ferry Rd. in relationship to the railroad tracks) and the Fish and Game Department.

Applegate adds that now that the litigation is history between the Tuolumne County Citizens For Responsible Growth and a settlement has been reached, he is “cautiously optimistic” that all the formalities will be completed without further interruption.

Regarding a groundbreaking date, Applegate says that is up to Lowe’s and the developer, California Gold Development Corporation.

Retail revenue for Sonora is down about 15%, while property tax remains flat. Applegate said if there are any future bright spots it would have to be in economic development and eventual family wage jobs.

Ultimately the city lives and dies by sales tax revenue.

Applegate pointed out other promising sources of jobs and sales revenue for the city, such as the possible expansion of Wal-Mart and a new McDonalds restaurant. With news jobs comes an expanding economy, which in turn equates to more revenue, according to Applegate.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday on AM 1450 KVML at 6:46, 7:46, 8:46am.

Written by mark@mlode.com