Setton Pistachio is expanding.

The planned expansion of Setton Farms Inc. will be discussed at the next Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting to be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Setton plans on the expansion at its facility in Terra Bella. At its meeting on Tuesday, the board will consider an addendum to the Terra Bella Community Plan considering the environmental impacts of the planned expansion. As part of the expansion, Setton will seek building permits and a pipeline to increase the recycled waste water land area for the facility.

Community members in Terra Bella have complained about the order caused by the wast water and the plan also addresses that issue.

Setton's proposed project calls for building permits to install 24 new silos and related equipment for the processing and storage of pistachios. The expansion would increase the storage capacity of the facility from 90 million pounds to 133 million pounds.

As part of the project Setton would also added to its main facility two receiving/pre-cleaning lines served by four cyclones, 10 hulling units and 12 natural gas-fired dryers to expanded its production capability. The project would also include the construction of an employee break room and an electrical utility room.

As far as the issue of the order from the facility, Setton has entered into a cease and desist order with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Rural Legal Assistance to make certain improvements to reduce orders caused by its wastwater.

The county staff report states “the project does not contemplate increases in discharge of process water from the expanded facility.” The staff report also states the project doesn't include modifications to wastewater ponds that currently receive water from the facility.

But as part of ongoing efforts to decrease the potential of existing ponds to cause “objectionable” odors, the staff report stated, the project includes the construction of a pipeline to significantly increase the land area for the wastewater and therefore reduce the amount of wastewater stored in the existing ponds.

In other business the board will consider to apply for competitive grants that could lead to multi-million projects that improve the roads around schools in three surrounding rural areas — Alta Vista School, Pleasant View School and Strathmore Middle School and Strathmore Elementary School.

The Active Transportation grants are provided through the California Transportation Commission. The grants are for projects that encourage an increase in biking and walking such as the Complete Streets program, which would be implemented in Strathmore if the the county receives the grants. In the past the county has received $8.1 million in ATP grants.

One grant would be for $2.1 million for Pleasant View School. The project would be for improvements along Avenue 145 between Road 190 and Road 193. Improvements would include installation of curbs and gutters, sidewalk, ADA ramps, drive approaches, asphalt paveouts and drainage improvements.

Another grant would be $2.6 million for the Strathmore Complete Streets improvements.

This project would reduce the size of the lanes on Orange Belt Drive between Avenue 196 and Avenue 198. There would also be improvements along Avenue 198 between Orange Belt Drive and Road 231. The project would be designed to make conditions safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. This project would also include curb and gutter and sidewalk improvements, ADA ramps, drive approaches and drainage improvements.

There would also be a $2.2 million grant for Alta Vista School. Again the project would be to make conditions safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The board will also consider funds to be used from Measure R which finances the Farm 2 Market Program. Among the projects to be considered is a Farm 2 Market Route in Terra Bella along Avenue 95 from Road 236 to Road 256 at a cost of $1.25 million.

In addition near the beginning of the meeting Tulare County Health and Human Services Director Tim Lutz will give his weekly update on the status of COVID-19 in the county.

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