The Shafter City Council approved a contract with Chandlerthinks LLC to "build a story" for the city, showcasing its assets and its vision.
Business Development Director Bob Meadows told the council Tuesday night that the city needs to take steps to increase and broaden its economic development. This includes creating a brand, a competitive identity that shares with the world the story of Shafter.
This is common practice in private business, even for smaller companies, and is becoming more common and necessary among municipal organizations, he said.
The city will pay Chandlerthinks $80,000 to create the story to build economic development and unify the city as part of that process.
Steve Chandler, owner of Chandlerthinks, said that there would be a process in the beginning that would bring together residents, business owners, city staff and leaders together to provide input on what the story of Shafter would include. Chandler said that the process will take five to seven months.
In other action, the council approved a contract not to exceed $500,000 to Spohn Ranch, who will be providing and installing new equipment at the Community Skate Park located on East Euclid Avenue, next to the Shafter Youth Center. The existing equipment is over 20 years old. The funding is coming from a $670,000 Clean California grant. The remainder of the money will be used to improve the landscaping and lighting at the skate park in a separate project.
The council also discussed options on the improvement of the landscaping around City Hall, including a possible plan of installing artificial turf instead of real grass, which they said would reduce maintenance costs. As part of a future plan, they also discussed possible plants and trees on the site, which would be mature trees and plants, preferably drought resistant.