Mayor Seeks Federal Funds for North A.V. BY BROOKE EDWARDS STAFF WRITER | 25-Mar-2010
APPLE VALLEY • Mayor Peter Allan has asked for $15 million in federal funds to help spur industrial development in North Apple Valley.
The town has big plans for its 5,100-acre North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan area, with studies showing 38,000 jobs could result from businesses expected to spring up alongside the Walmart distribution center. But so far those plans have been halted by a lack of water supply to the undeveloped area around the airport, with fire codes requiring extensive sprinklers in the large warehouses the NAVISP is designed to attract.
“One buyer has purchased, I believe, 1,200 acres and wants to put as much manufacturing under one roof as we were planning for the entire area,” Allan said, with that development essentially “shovelready” once the needed infrastructure is in place.
Allan said town staff has been working with Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company to design a system to meet the area’s needs. But he said the town has to fund installing that system, then transfer it to A.V. Ranchos and be reimbursed over time as the company gets revenue from new users.
Allan recently returned from Washington, D.C., where he made his case to representatives for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, and Rep. Jerry Lewis, RRedlands. The mayor said he was encouraged by the visit. Though Feinstein’s chief of staff originally didn’t have time to meet, Allan was able to get 10 minutes — which turned into 30.
“We do have $3 million in (Redevelopment Agency) funds that we can use for matching grants,” Allan said, with town staff getting ready to send out applications.
If those requests aren’t successful, Allan said, they’ll have to look to bonding.
“But right now with the interest rates what they are, we don’t want to overextend ourselves,” he said, hopeful they can cover the project through a combination of federal and local funds.