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Road projects and park improvements expected in Woodville this year

Nearly a dozen people gathered inside the cafeteria at Woodville Elementary School Wednesday evening to hear Kuyler Crocker, County Supervisor for District One, and eight county officials at a town hall meeting about county happenings and upcoming projects for Woodville.

Crocker opened the meeting with a brief introduction of himself before explaining that each county official would give information about statistics from 2018 and any upcoming projects that may be coming to the town. He finished his opening speech by informing the audience that there would be a question and answer period, in which they could ask questions to any of the representatives, including himself.

“We want to get your input,” said Crocker. “If there are areas we need to improve or work on, then we want to hear those things.”

Crocker passed the microphone to Sergeant Bill Meek who was there to represent the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO). Meek explained that three to five deputies from the TCSO substation in Porterville work the valley floor, and stated that he would take questions from the audience if they had any.

Meek turned his attention to the next speaker, Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman. Norman briefed over call volume for 2018, and specified certain statistics exclusive to Woodville. He said that if anyone needed a contact for public education opportunities, he would be glad to give them his information. He also informed that the Fire Department receives an average of roughly 100 calls for Woodville a year, and that the response time for structure fires is around eight minutes.

The next representative to speak was Hector Ramos of the Resource Management Agency Code Enforcement Department. Ramos stated that this year, his department has found two marijuana violations from illegal grows. He finished by saying that Woodville had a total of roughly 30 marijuana violations last year.

The microphone was passed to Johnny Wong who also works with the Resource Management Agency, but his focus is on roads. He introduced an upcoming project that will bring curbed sidewalks and gutters to Avenue 168 and Road 168. The new sidewalks will extend down Avenue 168 and stop just after the school. A new sidewalk will be installed on the east side of Avenue 168 and will extend to Avenue 166.

He also announced that Road 168 will be paved after the sidewalks are put in. An audience member asked about acquiring lighting for the streets for children who walk home after they are released from after school programs. Wong replied that lighting was not part of the street project, but that he would look into possible funding for street lighting.

Aaron Bock of the Economic Development Department in the Resource Management Agency stated that the community plan is being updated, and that there would be free rezoning on property offered soon. He said that people should think about rezoning their property then if they need to, as it would save them quite a bit of money. He wrapped up his report by saying that his department is always looking for funding for new roads in the county.

The transit representative for the Resource Management Agency, Albert Barragan, began by stating that transit is focused on bringing better safety and security to their buses. He said that to do this, buses will be receiving a trip planner so riders can plan their trips and will know what buses they need to get on if they have to ride different buses during their trips. He also stated that solar lighting would be installed into the stop shelters soon.

Barragan handed the microphone to Neil Piligard who works in the County Parks and Recreation department. Piligard said that Woodville is one of ten towns that have a county park. He announced that trees and irrigation would be installed in an upcoming project worth $238,000. When asked about a road for the park, he said that the project funding does not include the installation of roadways.

The night’s final speaker was Orwin Hartley with Animal Control. He stated that a grant of $29,000 was secured in February, and will be put towards spay and neutering clinics. Hartley said that an application has been submitted to possibly secure more funding for spaying and neutering, and that Animal Control will find out soon whether they will be awarded the money or not.

He said that Animal Control is working toward hiring an on-site veterinarian, and on May 4 there will be a vaccination clinic for county residents only. He concluded by saying that the live release date has increased to 65 percent.

Crocker wrapped up the meeting by saying thank you to those who were in attendance, and suggested that anyone with further questions contact the appropriate agency.

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