Clovis cuts developers a break

Downtown ClovisDowntown ClovisThe City of Clovis approved two measures yesterday that aim to promote economic growth by cutting businesses a break.

In the first action, the City Council voted to extend a temporary suspension of sewer and water major facilities impact fee for office and industrial development.

First approved in December 2010, the original fee suspension was set to end on June 30, 2012, giving industrial and office businesses some temporary relief when they relocated or expanded within the city.

The new proposal will be available to qualifying projects that submit site plan review applications before December 31, 2012 while the developer would then be required to obtain construction permits within one year of the site plan being approved.

According to a staff report, the suspension is estimated to create 400 more jobs in the city while saving a total of $2.5 million for 16 projects currently going through the development process.

The second measure approved by the City Council authorizes rebates of building permit fees for new or expanding businesses that locate in existing vacant commercial/office buildings.

With a total $50,000 budgeted for the program next year, the rebates offer up to $5,000 to each business if they can create a minimum of 10 new jobs by filling the vacancies.

The program, which is on a first come, first served basis, will last for a year from its starting date of July 1, 2012. In order to be eligible for the rebate, work must be completed and finalized by the building inspector within 180 days after the building permit is issued.

Both measures were passed as the city seeks to curb a vacancy rate that is approximately 10.68 percent in the office sector and an unemployment rate that hovers around 8 and 9 percent.