Instead of shrinking under the lockdown power of the pandemic, the business world has expanded. Visalia has 12,505 licensed businesses operating in the city, an increase of 190 from last year. Construction activity in the city increased by 13% (based on the number of all permits issued) in fiscal year 2020-21. The total valuation of all permits issued was $473 million, a 39% increase over the previous year and the city added 1.9 million square feet of new commercial properties and 3.6 million of square feet of total space.
In terms of single-family housing permits, fiscal year 2020-21 saw an increase in construction activity compared to the previous year. New single-family permits issued increased by 36% over the previous year. The construction value of 749 new permits was $197 million, up 40% from the previous year’s assessment level.
Overall, this is the eighth consecutive year that the General Fund has ended the year with a surplus.
Save the civic center
Not included in this surplus are grants from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – a total of $29.3 million in federal funds earmarked for Visalia. The law states that the funding can be used for:
▪ Respond to COVID-19 or its economic impacts
▪ Replace City revenue lost due to COVID-19
▪ Offer a bonus to eligible essential workers
▪Investing in water, sewer, stormwater and broadband infrastructure