The Colusa County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual membership meeting last week Mardi Gras style.
The meeting at Granzalla’s Banquet Hall on Thursday served to recognize recently completed, current and pending projects that stir economic activity in the community, and also to recognize new businesses in Colusa County.
“Economic development brings economic stability for our businesses, for our county, for our cities, and everything else,” said Jennifer Diaz, Chamber manager. “The RV Park that Colusa Landing is building brings in tourism and that benefits the county one way or another. The boat ramp that the city has just built brings in tourism, which benefits the economy.”
After more than a 10-year lag in housing development across the state, Colusa will also see 40 new homes get underway in the next six months, which was the big news of the evening.
The Colusa Industrial Properties project is the first phase of a 180-home planned development, said CIP Chief Executive Officer Ed Hulbert, Colusa County Chamber of Commerce second vice president.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Hulbert said.
Hulbert said the housing project, as well as several new industrial companies coming into CIP, has had tremendous support from the Colusa City Council, the Colusa County Board of Supervisors, and others.
“It’s that support that really helps move these things along,” Hulbert said.
The 40-hook-up RV park, which Diaz spoke about, is near completion at Colusa Landing. About 30 people, mostly displaced Camp Fire victims, are waiting for spaces.
The new Love’s Truck Stop, in Williams, is also about to come online.
“All of the projects bring outside money into the community,” Hulbert said. “I think 2019 is going to be a very busy year for us.”
Sen. Jim Nielsen and Assemblyman James Gallagher were special guests at the meeting and presented Legislative resolutions to new businesses EnviroPro Energy Co., of Maxwell, and SF Metalworks, of Meridian.
Both Gallagher and Nielsen also spoke of efforts to get the Sites Reservoir completed, as well as other legislation.
“We’ve put Sites Reservoir at the top of the map,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said it was good to see all the things that were going on in Colusa County that bring economic stability to the area.
“There are so many things coming together that have taken years of planning,” he said. “People are getting out there and shaking the trees and seeing what this county can do.”
Meanwhile, Gallagher said legislators are working to get housing projects exempt from stringent environmental regulations, which would help get projects underway sooner to help alliviate the housing crisis in the North State.
“We are going to continue to fight,” he said. “We have legislation this year to create a pilot program in Butte County to exempt housing projects from CEQA.”
Sen. Nielsen said he, Gallagher, and Rep. Doug LaMalfa have been working lockstep for farming communities.
“It’s special to represent rural California,” he said.
Nielsen has worked on water issues for many years and said he believes the Sites Reservoir will happen.
“If we are vigilant – and the three of us have to be vigilant every day – we will have Sites…My goal is that we are breaking ground and constructing in two more years, and we have a full reservoir within six. I’m insistent and determined. If we stay on it, we can have it – and the stars will align. And even Gov. Brown feels good about it.”
Thursday’s meeting included a Cajon style dinner and the raffle of prizes donated by Chamber of Commerce members.
The Chamber also recognized outgoing President Nancy Newlin and introduced 2019 President Cindy Campbell.
The board of directors includes Lynn Spivak, first vice president; Hulbert, second vice president; Ben Felt, treasurer; Colleen Wrysinski, Valente Bailey, John Ashbaugh, and Richard Selover. ■