Taft’s City Council has laid the groundwork for an exiting future. A future that includes 6,000 new residential dwelling units and diversifying the economy by creating at least 6,000 new jobs.
We are still planning our community but already we are seeing spurts of economic activity including:
• Two (2) businesses (Smith & Son and ENOVA) started up new facilities in Taft in the 2nd half of 2009. Both are experiencing solid growth!
• Fastenal opened for business in December 2009 and is rapidly growing!
• Three (3) businesses have recently opened for business on Center Street and another (Allied Insurance) is planning to open in January 2010!
• We are planning our first Historic Preservation effort with a ribbon cutting and dedication on March 17, 2010. The Pioneer Mercantile Building was constructed in 1926 and will be the temporary studio for the artist that will create the largest bronze art in the State. We expect the Oilfield Workers Monument to be a “Major Landmark” and create a destination for anyone interested in fine art and the beginning of a cultural renaissance in Taft!
• The oil companies are preparing for new drilling operations and the local economy should have steady growth for several years!
• Businesses that provide services to the oil industry (like Wilson Industries) are starting to grow again!
• Huddleston Crane company is about to relocate and be the first tenant of the 72-acre Westside Industrial Park developed by Charlie Beard. We are working with Mr. Beard to register the 72-acre “shovel ready” site in the State’s Department of Real Estate certified database. This new database has the ability to reach a national audience because it will be listed on the U.S. Certified Sites Web Site!
• A biofuels manufacturer is also planning to start up operations in the Charlie Beard industrial park in January of 2010. Taft College will also have a wet laboratory at this facility for real-world learning.
• Three (3) manufacturing or renewable fuel companies are considering locating within the proposed City-owned Light Manufacturing Park. Inquiries about this 27-acre industrial park are picking up as businesses learn about the Taft City Council authorizing 20-year ground leases for $1.00 per year for businesses that qualify and agree to enter in to an agreement with the Taft Community Development Agency and/or City of Taft.
• Taft College is experiencing rapid growth, has nationally recognized programs and is partnering with the City of Taft to create more student housing opportunities that will accommodate even more growth and new and/or expanded programs.
• Our Redevelopment Plan Amendment is progressing and we expect to create more than $250 Million in new property tax increment during the life of the Plan! Other Plans could create an additional $300 Million!
• Our Enterprise Zone should be certified by the State by March 27, 2010! Soon, businesses that relocate and/or expand within our Enterprise Zone will be eligible for substantial tax credits and other benefits.
The Enterprise Zone is one of seven (7) major goals identified in the Economic Element of the new Taft General Plan. Interested businesses are encouraged to check out our draft General Plan/EIR (especially the Economic Development Element) and the CALED “Tools for Business” section on our Web site at www.cityoftaft.org.
We believe that we have already begun to create a very special place where people will enjoy a sustainable community that features SAFETY and a healthy, pedestrian-friendly, affordable lifestyle. Businesses that want to discuss opportunities in Taft are encouraged to contact City Manager Bob Gorson or Grant Administrator Lucille Holt at (661) 763-1222.