Appliance Repair in Coalinga, CA

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Latest News in Coalinga, CA

Rural California Town Is Facing the End of Its Water Supply by Dec. 1

Coalinga city officials estimate their small town will run out of water by Dec. 1.The city, which is typically allocated 10,000 acre-feet of water, has only been allocated about 2,000 acre-feet this year, according to Pro-Tem Mayor Ray Singleton. And that supply is almost gone."It was beautifully green just eight years ago. If you look at Google Maps, my yard was green, but like maybe five or six years ago now you look at it now, it's like the Sahara Desert," said Singleton. He's been a resident since 2000 and is rais...

Coalinga city officials estimate their small town will run out of water by Dec. 1.

The city, which is typically allocated 10,000 acre-feet of water, has only been allocated about 2,000 acre-feet this year, according to Pro-Tem Mayor Ray Singleton. And that supply is almost gone.

"It was beautifully green just eight years ago. If you look at Google Maps, my yard was green, but like maybe five or six years ago now you look at it now, it's like the Sahara Desert," said Singleton. He's been a resident since 2000 and is raising his family there.

The California valley city, located inland between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is home to an estimated 17,465 people. All the people living in Fresno County, where Coalinga is located, are experiencing a drought. It is the second driest year to date over the past 128 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Coalinga residents have been living under water restrictions, such as no watering their front lawns or washing their cars, and there's a moratorium on pools. If a resident wants to maintain their pool, they need to sign a contract with the town stating they will provide their own 30,000 gallons of water, according to Singleton. One of Singleton's current concerns is that the fire department needs to flush out the hydrants soon, and that could use up even more water.

The city is also the site of a state prison and state mental health hospital. The city has no control over how these facilities use water, and Singleton estimates they pull around 25% to 30% of the city's supply. He said he sees these institutions waste water and called it "frustratingly insane."

The Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga told CNBC that it reduced water usage by more than 21% since 2020 with steps such as using pressurized water for cleaning, reducing urinal diaphragm capacity, reducing the washdown schedule of the wastewater treatment facility and reducing irrigation of landscaping.

The hospital did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Singleton has attempted to purchase water for Coalinga from the open market, but he said it is priced much higher than what it is typically worth. Singleton said the town may have to raise taxes but he's hoping to find a grant or other financial assistance so Coalinga will be able to provide each resident their required 55 gallons of water per day for health and safety standards.

They're also lobbying state officials. He said, "Sacramento, it's beautiful up there. I mean, it's like, wow, we would love to have some of the water that you have. It's crazy that we don't."

The California Department of Water Resources said the persistent drought is impacting many communities the Bureau of Reclamation serves. They said they have been working closely with the City of Coalinga to find solutions, including finding water that may be transferred to the city. They also said the agency has funding available through the Urban Community Drought Relief grant program and would be ready to work with Coalinga to walk the town through the process. DWR said they will be able to "provide immediate assistance for whatever level of funding is needed to support the purchase of water for the city's needs."

Meanwhile, as the farmland around him has turned from trees to solar panels, Singleton also seemed to imply that the allocation of water could have something to do with the changing local economy. "Are we in a drought or are WE in a drought?" Singleton asked, gesturing to imply that the effects could be worse in Coalinga than elsewhere. "Because the state seems to be looking great around us, and we're looking brown on the inside."

California Town Set to Run out of Water by December 1st

Coalinga, a small rural town located between San Francisco and Los Angeles in Central California, has released an estimate from city officials that they will run out of water by December 1st. According to the Pro-Tem Mayor, Ray Singleton, the city is normally allocated 10,000 acre-feet of water yearly. However, for 2022, they received only 2,000 acre-feet and that is almost gone, at this point.Singleton has been a resident of Coalinga and noted the differences he has seen in that time saying:It was beautifully green ju...

Coalinga, a small rural town located between San Francisco and Los Angeles in Central California, has released an estimate from city officials that they will run out of water by December 1st. According to the Pro-Tem Mayor, Ray Singleton, the city is normally allocated 10,000 acre-feet of water yearly. However, for 2022, they received only 2,000 acre-feet and that is almost gone, at this point.

Singleton has been a resident of Coalinga and noted the differences he has seen in that time saying:

It was beautifully green just eight years ago. If you look at Google Maps, my yard was green, but like maybe five or six years ago now you look at it now, it’s like the Sahara Desert.

Coalinga has a population of approximately 17,500 people and is located in Fresno County. The state is currently mired in a drought National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that 2022 has been the second-hottest year in the past 128 years. Residents have been subject to water restrictions, but their limited supply can only be stretched so far.

The city has attempted to purchase more water supplies from the open market, but Singleton has noted it has been difficult because it is price much higher than its expected worth. The next steps would be to either raise taxes or apply for financial assistance that would allow Coalinga to ensure residents would receive the required 55 gallons of water per day, which is recommend for safety and health measures.

Another tactic would be to pressure state officials in Sacramento to provide some emergency help. Singleton commented:

Sacramento, it’s beautiful up there. I mean, it’s like, wow, we would love to have some of the water that you have. It’s crazy that we don’t.

Over the past few years, Coalinga has also made a shift to utilizing more farmlands for solar panel farms. Singleton believes this may be a factor in why their water allocations have been so impacted this year noting:

Are we in a drought or are WE in a drought? Because the state seems to be looking great around us and we’re looking brown on the inside.

The Bureau of Reclamation is now working with the Coalinga to find new solutions including one that would provide additional funding through the Urban Community Drought Relief Grant program. They have vowed to provide whatever assistance is needed to support the city in in purchase of needed water supplies.

Low-flying helicopter to survey the Coalinga and Pyramid Hills areas for groundwater research

COALINGA, Calif. – Starting around November 17, 2022 and lasting up to a month, a helicopter towing a large hoop from a cable will make low-level flights over areas of the western San Joaquin Valley in Fresno, Kings, and Kern Counties near Coalinga and the Pyramid Hills, with limited surveying near Lost Hills. Residents of these areas may see a low-flying helicopter towing a large hoop hanging from a cable.USGS scientists will use the data to improve understanding of groundwater ...

COALINGA, Calif. – Starting around November 17, 2022 and lasting up to a month, a helicopter towing a large hoop from a cable will make low-level flights over areas of the western San Joaquin Valley in Fresno, Kings, and Kern Counties near Coalinga and the Pyramid Hills, with limited surveying near Lost Hills. Residents of these areas may see a low-flying helicopter towing a large hoop hanging from a cable.

USGS scientists will use the data to improve understanding of groundwater salinity and below-ground geology to better understand groundwater conditions near California’s oil fields.

The helicopter will tow a sensor that resembles a large hula-hoop about 100-200 feet above the ground to measure small electromagnetic signals. These signals can be used to map geologic features, like aquifers, below Earth’s surface. The scientific instruments carried by the aircraft do not pose a health risk to people or animals.

The USGS study will be conducted by the specialty airborne geophysical survey company SkyTEM ApS, under a USGS contract with Woolpert. The helicopter will be operated by experienced pilots from Paso Robles based Sinton Helicopters, who are trained for the low-level flying required for geophysical surveys. The company works with the FAA to ensure flights are safe and in accordance with U.S. law. The surveys will be conducted during daylight hours only. Surveys do not occur over populated areas and the helicopter will not directly overfly buildings at low altitude.

Once the survey is complete, USGS scientists will review and process the geophysical data. The datasets will be used together with existing groundwater measurements to better understand groundwater salinity and the shape of the shallow aquifers across the study area. All results and data will be made available to the public at no cost.

USGS-led studies have recently used this type of aerial survey to inform groundwater investigations around the country, including in California. By using cutting-edge airborne geophysical technology, USGS scientists efficiently obtain critical, high-resolution information about groundwater resources over large areas, without the need for intensive ground-based work.

This survey is a continuation of groundwater salinity and aquifer mapping efforts conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 near Lost Hills, Buttonwillow, Maricopa, and Cawelo.

This work is part of the U.S. Geological Survey California Oil, Gas, and Groundwater Program and the California State Water Resources Control Board Oil and Gas Regional Monitoring Program.

The maps below show the areas where airborne geophysical surveys are planned.

Coalinga to keep taps flowing but at a hefty price – nearly $2,000 an acre foot

The City of Coalinga is shelling out $1.138 million to keep taps flowing this year.The city finally found water it could afford and is buying 600 acre feet of water from Patterson Irrigation District at about $1,900 per acre foot.The deal was finalized and announced Oct. 26.The water was desperately needed as Coalinga was set to run out of water by mid-November.“It’s the cheapest one we could find, honestly,” said Adam Adkisson, Coalinga city councilman. “Happy that we were able to find it ...

The City of Coalinga is shelling out $1.138 million to keep taps flowing this year.

The city finally found water it could afford and is buying 600 acre feet of water from Patterson Irrigation District at about $1,900 per acre foot.

The deal was finalized and announced Oct. 26.

The water was desperately needed as Coalinga was set to run out of water by mid-November.

“It’s the cheapest one we could find, honestly,” said Adam Adkisson, Coalinga city councilman. “Happy that we were able to find it at that price because it could have been a lot worse.”

Adkisson said other agencies were quoting up to $5,000 per acre foot.

Still, the price from Patterson Irrigation District is a far cry from Coalinga’s normal water price of $130 per acre foot, which it usually buys from the federal government.

Coalinga, which sits on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno County, relies entirely on supplies from the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), which transports water south from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to both agricultural and municipal contractors.

In February, the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the CVP, cut allocations to most San Joaquin Valley irrigators to zero because of the ongoing drought. A minimal amount of water the Bureau calls “health and safety” was made available for municipal needs.

But that only got the city up to 2,700 acre feet of its 10,000-acre-foot full allocation. The 600 acre feet purchase will provide residents a bare minimum for their water needs.

Water rates will have to increase because of the purchase, said Adkisson. But city officials are confident that state funding will help soften the blow.

“While the State of California has not yet committed to covering the cost of the water purchase, conversations have been very positive and the City is hopeful that we may receive a state grant to provide financial assistance related to the purchase,” wrote a Coalinga city spokesperson in a press release.

“Patterson Irrigation District was privileged to be able to share water supplies this year with a regional partner who otherwise would have gone without,” wrote Vince Lucchesi, general manager of Patterson Irrigation District, in an emailed statement. “This unrelenting drought is affecting all of our communities, and we will only come through it by working together in a spirit of cooperation.”

Coalinga city officials want to implement a tiered water rate system, where heavier users are charged more, said Adkisson. It hasn’t been approved yet, but Adkisson anticipates it will be rolled out over a period of years.

SJV Water is a nonprofit, independent online news publication covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Lois Henry is the CEO/Editor of SJV Water. She can be reached at lois.henry@sjvwater.org. The website is www.sjvwater.org

How independent operators are embracing change and reaping the rewards

FinancingAs the industry stabilizes, operators of RB Top 100 restaurants are taking advantage of renewed consumer interest and greater opportunities for their brands.Photograph courtesy of Taste of TexasThis year’s Restaurant Business Top 100 Independents list reflects what was happening inside restaurants across the United States in 2021.Yelp’s 2022 ...

FinancingAs the industry stabilizes, operators of RB Top 100 restaurants are taking advantage of renewed consumer interest and greater opportunities for their brands.

Photograph courtesy of Taste of Texas

This year’s Restaurant Business Top 100 Independents list reflects what was happening inside restaurants across the United States in 2021.

Yelp’s 2022 State of the Industry described 2021 as a transitional period for the restaurant industry. Restaurants were experiencing rapid change after 2020, clawing themselves out of one of the worst financial periods on record. Today, many restaurant operators find that the work they put in helped them to exceed their own expectations.

South Beach, Miami’s MILA (No. 5 on this year’s list), which completed its first full year of business in 2021, was originally designed to handle a volume of $9 million, according to Greg Galy, founder and CEO of Riviera Dining Group. The restaurant more than tripled its revenue during 2021, topping $27 million in gross food and beverage sales.

Similar stories have emerged from the Southern region, where pandemic mandates were less restrictive at the start of 2021, resulting in many restaurants reporting their best sales year ever. “Versus 2019, we’re up 7% in guest count and 23% in sales,” says Tim Fulton, manager at Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (No. 50 on the list with gross sales growing from $13,726,748 in 2019 to $16,702,024 in 2021). “The sales increase is up because of required menu [price] increases driven by rising food prices.”

Noticeably absent from the list this year: more than a dozen familiar East Coast restaurants that are usually featured due to early-2021 closures and lower-than-normal sales.

Some areas of the country benefited from the mandates on an unequal basis, according to Robin Gagnon, CEO and co-founder of We Sell Restaurants. “By 2021 we started to see aggressive movement into the south and the sunbelt, whether that was from the lockdown, crime, school closures, or because people are choosing somewhere else to live,” says Gagnon. “But overall, people made some decisions about lifestyle and that's impacting our restaurant industry.”

Data from BizBuySell’s Insights Report shows that sales of restaurant properties were rebounding in 2021, but leaned more toward certain regions of the country, namely southern states such as Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

“We saw a huge influx of domestic travelers coming to Miami, which had less restrictions than most other parts of the country,” says Chris Cuomo, CEO and partner at Groot Hospitality with three restaurants on the list (Komodo at No. 1, Swan at No. 3 and Papi Steak at No. 18). “We also had new businesses and people move to the city from everywhere, especially the West Coast, New York and Chicago, who seemingly had more disposable income, so, in turn, we saw larger check averages across the board.”

By mid-2021, most capacity and masking mandates were lifted or reduced, and restaurants, for the most part, were on even ground. Consumers were ready to return to restaurants more than ever. Despite restaurant labor shortages and economic inflation, consumers still craved new experiences, opportunities to dine out (both indoor and outdoor) and were willing to spend more to get more.

This year’s list of Top 100 Independents illustrates how being open to major change and ready to roll with the punches can pay off in spades.

Two of the most common attributes shared among this year’s top earners is multi-level design and interesting guest experiences. In fact, three newcomers to the list (MILA at No. 5 with $27,350,000; Papi Steak at No. 18 with $22,000,000; and Hampton Social at No. 75 with $13,430,746) all stand out for their unique offerings.

“At the core of what we do is to create an exceptional guest experience that touches on all the senses, from state-of-the-art sound systems to the lighting, plateware and design of the space, says Groot Hospitality’s Cuomo. “Everything is working together to create a special moment.” One of the most talked about offerings from the restaurant group is the $1,000 beef case at Papi Steak in which a tomahawk steak is delivered to diners in a golden, bejeweled briefcase and then branded at the table.

MILA’s Galy says it was important for the restaurant to set itself apart when it entered the Miami market as a newbie in 2020. “It starts with the culinary and service experience, but beyond the restaurant, it’s about entertainment,” Galy says. “We added fire shows that happen on a nightly basis in the water feature outside the restaurant.” This year, with the help of its growing VIP database, MILA will open a dedicated members-only space downstairs.

After debuting in November 2019 and pulling in $344,000 in gross annual sales for the year, The Hampton Social in Nashville (No. 75), returned post-pandemic to garner 2021 gross sales of $13,430,746. The trendy restaurant features three levels of experiential dining: a first-floor “Rosé all day” lounge, a second-floor dining space and rooftop terrace with indoor/outdoor seating and weekly events such as live music, pizza parties and brunch.

Events are a creative way to attract locals to restaurants that traditionally cater to tourists or road trippers. “Events like our Cars & Coffee, Sip & Savor, and Winemaker Dinner help create synergy and help people get to know our property,” says Brad Reynolds, general manager of Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant (No. 33 on this year’s list, growing from $17,599,468 in 2019 to $18,848,657 in 2021).

Operators and consumers were reintroduced to an array of technologies in 2021, all designed to make ordering and prep easier and dining more enjoyable. Whether it was handheld POS machines for servers; kitchen display screens for chefs; or beefed-up reservation systems, QR code menus and pay-at-the-table technology for guests, restaurant tech ruled 2021.

“We introduced a handheld POS system from Toast in 2021 that allows our guests to pay their check tableside,” Cuomo says. “It’s had a huge impact with our staff and has led to operational improvements such as expedited service, quicker conversion rates with tables and, since guests are getting their drinks faster and ordering more drinks, it leads to a higher check average.”

“We’re always looking for better ways to interact with our guests,” says Al Zehnder, CEO of Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth (No. 46), in Frankenmuth, Michigan. “We have a full-time IT staff that’s on it every day and very focused on all our social media platforms. We have an email list of 250,000 guests and send out regular email blasts to make it easy for guests to include us in their experiences or family vacation.”

Harris Ranch’s prime location off Interstate 5 in Coalinga, California, caught the attention of another kind of tech company recently. “Tesla was courting us to put in the largest Tesla charging station in the world,” Reynolds says. “Tesla just installed 80 new charging ports, so that puts us at 98, plus we have six Electrify America charging units.”

Restaurants large and small were faced with labor shortages long before 2020, but recent events have caused many to investigate new recruiting and hiring techniques and alternative incentives for employees such as tuition programs, career advancement and 401k’s.

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, one of the largest (1,500 seats hosting 908,951 meals in 2021) and oldest (open since 1928) restaurants on the list, dropped its staff count from 925 to 80 within a week during 2020, according to Zehnder. “I had a weekly video that went out to our employees, keeping them in touch and connected,” Zehnder says. “I wanted to keep them engaged, because I felt that if they felt connected, we’d have an easier time getting them back.”

When it reopened in 2021, Zehnder’s hired more people than it needed, so that by the time the busy season hit, it was back up to 900 people on staff. The company culture embraces a work-life balance, with no one working more than 40 hours per week and enjoys a turnover rate under 10%. “Even though we were closed the first 30 days of 2021, it was the biggest sales year in the history of our company,” Zehnder says. “I’m proud that we didn’t lose any key people and we got most of our general staff back.”

MILA currently employs around 230 staff members, thanks in part to hiring internal and external recruiters to handle the restaurant’s growing staffing needs, according to Galy. “Before the pandemic it was hard to find staff, especially for back of house, but since the pandemic, and after, it’s been harder because so many people have shifted away from the food and beverage industry wanting to explore other avenues and industries,” Galy says. “We even work with temporary agencies when we’re not able to find anyone.”

At the height of the pandemic, Harris Ranch went from 500 employees to 90, according to Reynolds. To help with staffing, the restaurant took its two kitchens designed to handle three dining venues and consolidated them into one. “Moving forward, we’ve divided the restaurants back up, but have streamlined our menus to create a universal kitchen,” Reynolds says. “We also strategically moved our hostess podium, so we only need one instead of three now.” The restaurant is back to full staff, but the cross-training and streamlining have helped with operational efficiencies overall.

At Groot, Cuomo says that for anyone who works at the restaurant, there’s room to grow their career, if that’s what they want. “Some employees are here for an end goal like working through school; for those employees, we still support them through their journey,” Cuomo says. “We also offer consistent employee recognition, celebrating birthdays, and anniversaries, providing bonuses and soon, a new 401k program.”

While the restaurant industry was busy transitioning in 2021, so were restaurant customers.

The restaurant guests of today expect more: higher-quality food, top-notch service and a stellar experience. They assume they’ll have a choice of indoor or outdoor seating when they arrive to dine in, and they want an equal level of service and consistency when they order food online for delivery. Perks such as online reservations, special events, and VIP access to the dining room are extras that many consumers are actively seeking out.

Restaurants may look different than they did five years ago, but at the end of the day the hallmarks of a great restaurant will always be the same: A warm, quality experience that leaves guests feeling like their expectations were exceeded and they can’t wait to return.

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