Clovis News

Clovis names new official, woos business

The Clovis City Council on Monday night named a new city manager and approved an incentive package to attract a Fresno construction firm and its 70 employees.

Robert Woolley, 57, who has served as the city's finance director for seven years, was approved as the new city manager unanimously by the council following a closed session.

He said Monday night that he was "humbled" by the council's decision.

Woolley has worked for the city for 25 years. Previously, he was employed by Fresno County for 10 years. He grew up in Selma, graduated from Fresno State and has a master's degree in public administration from National University. He is married and has a grown son and daughter.

Since October, he has served as interim city manager. He replaces Kathy Millison, who became city manager of Santa Rosa last year. Woolley's contract will be discussed at a meeting in May.

Meanwhile, under the incentive agreement, Terry Tuell Concrete is the first company to take advantage of a waiver for certain sewer and water fees that began in January in Clovis.

The company is moving to a Clovis industrial park north of Herndon Avenue and west of Peach Avenue, on land Tuell already owns.

During a December hearing when the fee waiver was approved by council members, Tuell told council members that he wanted to move his company to Clovis, but that city fees were too expensive.

The company's new site will offer easier access to local freeways and communities where the bulk of its work is located, said Joel Stokes, a team manager with Terry Tuell Concrete.

Stokes said the company can expand more easily on the new, 3-acre site and will add employees as the economy improves.

The company will construct a 30,000-square-foot, $3.5 million building, about 20% larger than it has now at its Fresno site on Fallbrook Avenue, he said.

The water and sewer fee waiver will save the company about $53,000 per acre, said Tina Sumner, Clovis economic and community development director.

The company also took advantage of a city program that will use $250,000 in non-taxable city redevelopment bond funds to help the company pay for furniture, fixtures and equipment. It's expected that the company will generate about $35,000 in sales tax each year and additional property taxes from its new building.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin said: "Terry Tuell Concrete is a very highly regarded company that serves this area well. We're glad the business is staying in the area."