County News

February 12, 2014
Dollar General to Open in Earlimart

South Tulare County residents will soon have another retail option in the unincorporated community of Earlimart.

The nation’s newest Dollar General is set to open its doors at the White River Plaza located at the northeastern corner of Avenue 56 (Sierra Highway) and CA State Route 99, in Earlimart, CA.

The construction of the 9,100 square feet building is complete, the shelves are being stocked, and the final details are being completed prior to the opening.  The new Dollar General store will be officially open to the public on Saturday, February 15, 2014, according to Bob Munoz, the District Manager of Operations for Dollar General.  A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for 8 a.m. with prizes, store giveaways and food.

“Dollar General has more retail locations in the United States than any other retailer with over 11,000 stores in 40 states from coast to coast,” said Michael Washam, Tulare County Economic Development Manager.  “The new store will offer shoppers the products they use and replenish most frequently, such as packaged foods, snacks, pet supplies, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, paper products, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items.”

February 4, 2014
County Proclaims Local Emergency Due to Drought

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors today unanimously proclaimed a local emergency due to the statewide drought, called for state legislators to place a water bond on a future ballot, and formed an ad hoc committee to address future water advocacy strategy.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Phil Cox said the proclamation of local emergency enables Tulare County to recover any future drought response costs and also makes the County eligible for any other drought-related assistance in the future.

“This is a very serious issue that can potentially destroy our local economy,” Chairman Cox said. “The Board would like to encourage everybody to step up and conserve as much water as you can.”

February 3, 2014
Applicants Needed for Indian Gaming Funding

The Tulare County Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee (IGLCBC) is seeking grant applications from interested special districts and local governments who can mitigate impacts related to the Eagle Mountain Casino.

Senate Bill 621, which became law on January 1, 2004, makes grant funding available to counties, cities and special districts impacted by tribal gaming from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund (SDF).  Gaming tribes that operated 200 or more gaming devices on or before September 1, 1999 contribute a variable portion of their net winnings into the SDF.  In Tulare County, the Tule River Tribe contributes winnings from the Eagle Mountain Casino. The seven-member Tulare County IGLCBC is responsible for selecting these grants.

In Tulare County, $268,177.87 in grant funding is available for distribution in Fiscal Year 2013-14. The Tule River Tribe must sponsor the grants and affirm that the proposed grant projects have a reasonable relationship to the impacts of their casino, in addition to other requirements.

February 3, 2014
County Extends Date for Indigent Burial

Tulare County officials announced today the date for family members or next of kin to claim their deceased loved ones prior to internment has been extended 30 days.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Phil Cox said the date has been extended from February 25 to March 25 because of interest from the public. Tulare County sent out a notice two weeks ago regarding the County’s plans to conduct an internment of more than 210 cremains being held. Since then, interested residents have called about claiming the cremains and some have asked for the internment to be delayed.

“We are pleased with the amount of interest the public has given and we are glad some of the people cremated will be reunited with their families,” Chairman Cox said.

January 28, 2014
2014 State of the County Address


In preparing for this speech during the last two months I found myself looking for the news. I read and reread the message I delivered five years ago and cannot find anything from that speech that compares to this time. There is good news and bad to share for the upcoming year, but mostly good. First I want to thank my family for their continuing support they give to me and especially my wife Connie. In just a few months it will be five years since she discovered she had cancer. Our family surrounded us with support and love to help her through the treatment. The community offered its support also. We will always remember those who showed their support through kind notes and prayers. Here we are today at the five year mark and cancer free.

It is a pleasure working with four Supervisors who have the best interest of this county in mind. Each of them is sincere in their commitment to their districts and their conviction to serve the citizens of this county.

I asked our CAO to provide me with a spread sheet showing the change in leadership that has taken place over the past few years. Since 2004 all department heads with the exception of two have changed. We created two new departments just last year alone. Our fire and IT departments are also still relatively young.