The annexation of the Colusa Industrial Park and surrounding property into the City of Colusa will begin to move full steam ahead now that the City Council has allocated $80,000 to cover administrative costs associated with the process.
The city plans to incorporate the property south of the city that is currently located in the unincorporated areas of Colusa County. Property currently proposed for annexation includes businesses like Premier Mushrooms and Colusa Rice, as well as the Colusa County Airport, and surrounding parcels.
Talks between city officials and Colusa Industrial Properties General Manager Ed Hulbert have been ongoing for several years, with both trying to bring new business and projects to the city, said Colusa City Manager Jesse Cain.
The $80,000 will come from the General Fund, Water Fund and Sewer Fund, and will largely cover attorney fees associated with the annexation process.
“I know we are not a business, but you’ve got to spend money to make money,” Cain said.
Cain said the city’s long-term goal for the city is to promote growth and business opportunities, and the annexation would help with that goal.
Hulbert, who attended the Dec. 18 City Council meeting, during which the funding was unanimously approved, said much of the property will continue to be farmed, although it has been rezoned to include heavy industrial in order to compete for projects in the future.
“We have all the infrastructure to serve it, but it will continue to be farmed,” Hulbert said. “Eventually, and hopefully, we will have some industrial projects out there.”
The annexation will also include the property in the Wescott Road and Country Club area that is currently reserved under the Colusa County General Plan for residential development.
Hulbert said he expects a housing project to get underway, possibly within the next five years.
While the annexation process could take up to a year, the Colusa City Council and the Colusa County Board of Supervisors are currently working on an agreement to give the city some authority on Colusa Industrial Properties, which operates the 450-acre heavy industrial park, so that a commercial cannabis company can operate on site until the annexation process is completed. The County of Colusa currently bans cannabis operations in the unincorporated areas, officials said.
City officials also said they do not expect regulations – once the annexation is completed – to largely differ from Colusa County’s, although Cain could not say that changes could not come in the future, especially if they are the result of changes in state law.
The city is aware that the odor problem that exists with the mushroom plant will be the “city’s problem” once the annexation is complete, but that the city hopes to eventually mitigate the issue.
Hulbert said there are currently a half dozen projects on the drawing board at Colusa Industrial Properties that would bring economic benefits to the city.
Annexation of the area south of Colusa into the city will require action by the Colusa Planning Commission and the Colusa City Council, with final approval of the Colusa County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which was formed in 1963 to discourage urban sprawl and encourage the orderly formation and development of local government agencies. ■