If you drive far enough on Highway 180, you’ll run into the city of Mendota, a small agricultural city located in the center of Fresno County, California. Although it’s only a few square miles in size, Mendota is home to just over 11,000 people. It’s best known as the cantaloupe center of the world because of the high number of cantaloupe packing sheds that used to exist in the area. Over the years, the numbers have dwindled leaving just two companies, Stamoules Produce and Pappas Family Farms. Despite that, there’s an entire division of the local government dedicated to the safety of California Cantaloupes. This advisory board ensures that food safety practices are followed closely to protect consumers and the reputation of the area. Cantaloupes are just one of many fruits grown in the area, such as watermelon and honeydew. Vegetables grown in the area include sweet corn and broccoli.
The governments implementation of an economic incentive zone (EIZ) encourages local business development in the area. The primary benefit of the EIZ is a reduction of development impact fees, planning application fees, and building permit fees, by up to 100%. To attain these significant advantages, a company simply needs to show how the proposed project will benefit the public.