Sunnyside to review retail options

City spending $150,000 to recruit new businesses

— The City Council will hear about possible prospects for new retail businesses tonight.

The council will receive a report from the Texas-based Buxton Co. six months after it inked a three-year contract.

The city is paying Buxton $150,000 to review and recruit retail shops.

The contract was approved in April, 10 years after the city commissioned a similar study with Buxton.

That study cost $63,000 and expressed optimism Baskin-Robbins, Fred Meyer and Cracker Barrel could be possible fits for the city, based on a review of consumer buying habits.

The city didn’t follow up on that study.

Buxton representative Jacob Davis told the council six months ago this time will be different.

Buxton will provide the city with 20 specific business concepts during each of the three years.

That includes presenting the findings in person, he said.

The city can opt out of the contract after one year.

The company may be the same as 10 years ago, but Buxton’s research has changed.

In the 2006 survey, Buxton tracked consumer spending habits in Sunnyside and outlying areas within a 20-minute drive.

Buxton used records of credit card item purchases, as well as information from the city.

This second go-round will include research that includes additional information such as cell phones, electronic banking and purchases.

Although the first Buxton study collected dust, the city over the past 10 years has seen retail growth.

A Big 5 store, two new wineries and a Carl’s Jr. have arrived over the last decade. A new micro brewery is also planned.

During that same time, Safeway, McDonald’s, Rite Aid, Ace and Burger King all made significant retail investments in the city.

The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. today in the Law and Justice Center, 410 Homer St.

Tonight’s agenda also includes a farewell to the 2015-16 Miss Sunnyside Court.

Council will consider formal adoption of a new city municipal code adopting an official city flag.

Other potential action items are applying for a Homeland Security grant so firefighters can replace self-contained breathing apparatus.

The agenda calls for a first reading of an ordinance regarding unsafe buildings and structures.

If council approves the first reading tonight, then it will likely be on the Oct. 24 agenda for final action.

It is anticipated the council will take action on an ordinance related to making a misleading statement to a public official.

Mayor Jim Restucci and the council will also formally receive Planning Commissioner Bernie Barker’s resignation.

Council members are scheduled to meet again tomorrow at the same time and location for a budget workshop.


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