Chico consultant hired for economic study
Glenn County hired a Chico consulting firm to do an economic development study for the county that officials say will not sit on a shelf.
The emphasis will be on economic opportunities that fit the county's agricultural base rather than looking at big box stores and mega-manufacturing that is not likely to come anytime soon.
Chabin Concepts' bid to do the study got approved by the Board of Supervisors last week for a fee not to exceed $33,000.
It was one of two companies to bid on the project, according to Planning and Public Works Director John Linhart.
The second company was an Arizona firm that bid for around $130,000, he said, which was well beyond the county's budget for this study, which will be funded by a Community Development Block Grant.
"The main premise is not to have a study that will stay on a shelf," Orland Councilman Bruce Roundy said.
By focusing on the agriculture industry, "we can use what we have and go in a number of directions with the existing (base)," he said.
That could mean, among other things, agricultural-manufacturing, -processing and packaging new products, Roundy added.
"Why can't we do it here?" he asked.
The goal is to provide jobs for county residents regardless of where they live, he said.
"It doesn't matter where it is in the county, Roundy explained, just that it is here as that will help both cities and provide employment.
The project came from the Cities/County Joint-Economic Development Steering Committee comprised of county and city representatives from Orland and Willows.
Roundy is a committee member along with Orland Economic Development Commission members Helen Duree and Mike Yalow.
Its monthly meetings focus on ways to spur economic development in the county as a whole and also on ideas of how to increase tourism to the area, members said.
Linhart said he expects the study to be done in about six months or possibly sooner since Chabin is familiar with the area and is close.
He also said Chabin's team should get going on the project quickly, and he has worked with the company before.
Linhart said example businesses that could work here include cold storage facilities, agricultural implement and manufacturers.
He said the hope is the study can provide details to companies from outside the county looking for a place to relocate.
Demographic information on the types of crops and current processing plants located in Glenn County could help companies with compatible products decide if this is a good fit, Linhart said.