Grass Valley-area residents are taking more than $200 million out of the county to shop and dine, according to a report being prepared for the city.
Folks are looking elsewhere to buy a lot of their furniture and home decor, electronics and appliances, health and personal care products, clothing and accessories, sporting and hobby goods, and books and movies. They also go out of the area to eat and drink, according to a city-paid study being developed by Buxton Co. of Fort Worth, Texas.
The biggest destination for out-of-town shopping is to the very big-box stores many say would spoil the rural, small-town charm of western Nevada County: Department stores, warehouse-style stores and superstores, Buxton has found.
The consulting firm is analyzing the shopping habits of local residents to help city leaders figure out what kinds of retailers could be targeted for local recruitment.
One element of the effort is to look specifically at opportunities to expand health care and industrial sectors, according to a report by city Community Development Director Joe Heckel.
Marketing packages will be prepared to recruit businesses identified as being a priority for the city, Heckel wrote. Then, a strategy will be developed to recruit - or retain - "national retailers, commercial businesses and restaurant concepts (that) are a match for the community," the report states.
City Council members will hear an update on Buxton's progress at tonight's council meeting. It starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 125 E. Main St., downtown.
A final report is expected in late January or early February, Heckel reported.
Among other topics that will be discussed tonight are:
• An update on Police Department activities, including the renovation of a communications closet at Fire Station No. 2 on Brighton Street to be a back-up dispatch center.
• A request for an additional $3.6 million in state funds for the Dorsey Drive freeway interchange from the Nevada County Transportation Commission.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Trina Kleist, e-mail email@example.com or call (530) 477-4230.