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Year in Review - Business, schools add value
Orland ends 2012 with the prospect of finally getting a new full-service grocery store and potentially reviving the empty Stony Creek Square Shopping Center.
Grocery Outlet has a tentative lease agreement with the South Street center's owner Rick Thomas of Santa Rosa.
If all goes as planned, it should be open by April, city officials said.
Locals seem enthusiastic about the store coming to town along with a Dollar Tree store in the same complex.
Thomas said negotiations are in progress with Dollar Tree executives but nothing has been finalized on it.
Orland's Planning Commission recently approved a conditional use permit to allow a 100-foot tall sign advertising the grocery store alongside Interstate 5 in the northwest corner of the shopping center.
This should pave the way for the lease to be finalized, Orland officials said.
Orland also approved a downtown improvement district this spring in which $10,000 was set aside to assist business owners in repainting their storefronts along Fourth and Fifth streets.
City Manager Peter Carr said four downtown businesses took the city up on this offer which has improved the attractiveness of downtown Orland.
The City Council later expanded the grants to any businesses operating within the city limits.
Council members also approved a three-year lease with a discount grocer on the Old Purity Market building at Fourth and Mill streets. Orland owns the building purchased in 2006 to house a new police facility which was never completed.
Scotty D's Discount Grocery opened this spring, providing the city with some income off the long vacant building along with sales tax revenues.
Other business issues include:
• The Orland Economic Development Commission lost Commissioner Steven Monck following his unexpected death on Aug. 8. He was 46, and his loss left a void in the Orland community as he was active in a variety of causes and had planned a run for the City Council. Kristine Monck sold their Alta Marie's Bakery a few months later.
Mike Wyser was appointed to take his place in the fall, and Commissioner Angus Saint-Evens resigned in the fall because of time conflicts and was replaced by businesswoman Sarah Leydon. Commissioner Mike Yalow lost his seat this month when the City Council appointed Walgreen's Drugs Manager Edgar Valenzuela to the body.
• The Glenn County Fair lost an old friend with the death of former CEO Jake Walgenbach in January from cancer complications. Walgenbach ran the fair and grounds for more than a decade before retiring from Glenn in 2010. He was 76.
• Orland Unified School District completed two 20,000 square-foot science-media centers in 2012. One was at Orland High School and the other at C.K. Price Middle School. The two-story high-tech buildings cost about $5 million each and were built with state school construction funding and about $2.5 million from the district's Measure K Bond passed in 2008.
• Funding to relight Orland's historic arch on Old Highway 99 was provided by businessman Eddie Grewal this fall when he donated $5,000 to the project.
• Orland's landmark water tower also was lighted in the spring to attract visitors at night with $2,000 from the city. However, critics complain the lights don't shine bright enough for the city's name to be seen and not enough businesses are open late at night to make the effort worth it.