Leading the way
The city is aware these renovations are no easy tasks for the private sector. Tulare City Council and Mondell have worked hard to determine ways to provide the most amount of help to as many parties involved.
“In order for downtown’s to redevelop, it has to be the city leading the effort,” Mondell said.
For downtown redevelopment, the city has decided to use $9 million in funding they received from the American Rescue Plan Act (APRA), funding cities received from the federal government as aid resulting from the pandemic. The $9 million has been divided into five separate entities: $5 million for the renovation of Zumwalt Park, $1.3 million to the business incubator, $1 million to downtown rehabilitation grants, $100,000 for a master plan and $2 million for the emergency homeless shelter.
“We’ve committed over $9 million of our $18 million in ARPA funds towards downtown redevelopment,” Mondell said. “It’s absolutely doable, in my opinion, absolutely necessary.”
The entirety of downtown revitalization will take several years, and Mondell has created the process to be completed in several phases. Phase one is perhaps the most important aspect of the entire plan as it lays the groundwork for future development.
Mondell said the city will lead the redevelopment effort by creating a master plan for the future. On May 17, the city council approved a professional services agreement for consulting services with MIG Inc., an environmental design and planning company. The contract is not to exceed $100,000 to prepare a downtown masterplan update. The contract is in the final stages and within the next couple weeks a kick-off meeting with the city and the consultant should take place, according to Deputy City Manager Josh McDonnell.