Lodi, CA economy on the rebound | Business
On Tuesday, JoAnne Mounce gave her second State of the City Address as she ends her second turn as mayor. This time, she was able to tell how Lodi has weathered the storm of rising costs of doing business when revenue is flat, and how the economy is improving.
"We have been frugal in our decision-making ... and we were able to work on our largest expense, our people," Mounce said, referring to payroll costs and the pay cuts to which employee groups have agreed in recent years to help balance the city's budget.
"Our employees have wanted to be a part of the solution, not the problem," she said.
Mounce said the city is in good shape headed into 2013, a year that could prove to be a boon for business. The city has lowered developer fees to lure new construction of homes and businesses. A $32 million treatment plant is online delivering Mokelumne River water, and the Lodi Energy Center is producing power to the grid.
Home Depot opened this year, bringing 120 jobs. Mepco Label Systems moved to Lodi from Stockton, bringing an additional 120 jobs. The downtown wine room scene is growing, and BevMo! is open on Kettleman Lane, Mounce reminded the crowd.
Econooy on the rebound
Lodi delegation is building ties with China
Lodi Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Pat Patrick was not present to deliver his usual speech on the state of Lodi economics. Instead, Dale Gillespie, a partner with the San Joaquin Valley Land Co. and board chair for the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, gave a brief introduction to the day's speakers.
Patrick is currently in China with a small delegation to promote regional wine and agriculture products of the Lodi region. The visit was in response to a pair of trips from Chinese government leaders who visited Lodi in June to look into exporting Lodi wines.
The delegation hopes to formalize a memorandum with the Chinese government to import Lodi products during this trip, said Gillespie