“Welcome to Williams” is a new strategic plan to help the city overcome some of the economic challenges facing the small town.
Councilman John Troughton is leading an effort by Williams staff to build a healthy business community by maximizing the city’s strengths and opportunities.
In his report to the City Council last week, Troughton presented a draft of a presentation that will be handed out at business expos or mailed to potential businesses to entice them to come to Williams. The information highlights Williams’ strong economic opportunities – including a large business park within an opportunity zone in which to build – proximity to major roadways, proximity to year-round recreation, and the area’s vibrant agricultural community.
Troughton said he plans to attend the Small Business Expo in San Francisco, in August, and others around the North State, armed with a TV screen and aerial photographs of the city.
“It shows what we have to offer and how to recognize Williams when you get to it,” Troughton said.
The packet of information, which will be placed on a CD or flash drive, will be offered to prospective companies who would largely benefit from the city’s close proximity to Interstate 5 and state Highway 20.
Troughton said he recently conducted his own traffic survey at the south and north end of E Street by counting cars during half hour intervals over the course of several hours.
“In one half hour period on a Friday at 11:30 (AM) to noon, there were 138 cars to come off on the northbound side,” he said. “The total that we have on both sides, over a total of about a week, is 40,992. That was my number. That’s based on an average of the high and the low.”
Troughton said an official Caltrans traffic survey conducted in 2012 totaled the number of cars exiting into Williams from I-5 at about 38,000.
“We’re not too far off and that’s been six years ago,” Troughton said. “So, consequently, this information might be of interest to someone looking for a place along I-5 or so.”
Troughton is working on the project with the Williams Planning Department. Funding comes from the $5,000 the city council set aside for economic development and outreach earlier this year.
The packet of information also contains information about Williams, including population, median household income, and median home values.
Troughton said having a strong business community would also boost tourism, adding to the economic success of the city and create more jobs for residents. ■