FAIRFIELD -- The 31st annual meeting of the Solano Economic Development Corporation showcased significant public-private sector accomplishments in the county’s seven cities during 2013.
[caption id="attachment_87373" align="alignleft" width="224"] Patsy Van Ouwerkerk[/caption]
Chairperson Patsy Van Ouwerkerk welcomed members and guests and announced that she would be retiring in August from both the EDC and as Travis Credit Union’s chief executive officer. Her successor for both positions will be Barry Nelson, executive vice president for the credit union.
The luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield attracted over 300 business executives, community leaders and public officials eager to hear a status report from Sandy Person, president of the EDC.
[caption id="attachment_87374" align="alignright" width="230"] Sandy Person[/caption]
"Team Solano worked together to make everything happen by attracting new businesses and creating an environment to nurture newcomers and those already here," Ms. Person said.Travis Air Force Base
With the goal of diversifying the Solano economy, a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of Travis AFB on the region’s infrastructure is being made to see how Solano and its cities can grow their economies around the base.
This study, to be released in June, will also update land use plans to protect Travis AFB, the county’s largest economic engine.Boost from wine
"Clearly, Solano is benefitting from both the wine industry’s strength as well as from the greater economy’s recovery," Ms. Person said.
Caymus Vineyards, based in Rutherford with operations in four North Bay counties, is expanding to Solano with the purchase of the Hopkins Ranch on Cordelia Road.
Caymus will build a 132,000-square-foot winery along with a barrel cellar and casegoods warehouse, along with a 25,000 square foot canopy for processing grapes and a 32,000 square foot mechanical systems building. There are plans to double barrel and casegoods storage.
Approximately 150 stainless-steel wine fermentation and storage tanks at this site will have capacity for 6 million gallons.
[caption id="attachment_87375" align="alignright" width="224"] Chuck Wagner[/caption]
Chuck Wagner, president of Caymus, was the guest speaker at the luncheon. He provided a brief history of his family’s three generations in winemaking and an overview of his plans to grow winegrapes in Solano.
"We have lots of ideas, but it’s too early to tell which varietal Solano will become known for," he said. "The dry soil here is ideal for dark reds."Benicia
Ms. Person said the city of Benicia was honored by AAA's Via magazine in its November--December 2013 issue as one of the 50 safest cities in California by SafeWise Security Systems. The city continues to expand its tourism brand with the launch of its economic development site BeniciaBusiness.com.
Ten Benicia businesses are poised to save $140,000 in energy costs this year through the Business Resource Incentive Program that provides firms in the Benicia Industrial Park with grants and loans to make energy-saving improvements.Dixon
A new 60-unit affordable housing complex in the city of Dixon, called Heritage Commons, was completed.
Ground was also broken for the construction of the West B Street pedestrian and bicycle underground crossing.Fairfield
A 318,000-square-foot Solano Logistics Center was built on Cordelia Road for wine bottle supplier Encore Glass Company. Two other buildings, totaling 650,000 square feet, are set to be built and leased by Saxco International -- another bottling industry leader.