KING CITY — Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez announced last week that the county has entered escrow on a property in King City that will host the return of the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office in South Monterey County.

The location at 1011 Broadway St. is currently an unused building, which also includes the recently completed Salinas Valley Fair mural on its exterior.

“A big thank you to Ag Commissioner Henry Gonzales who shared my vision, and to the whole facilities team who made it happen,” Lopez said. “We look forward to continuing to follow through on our commitments and serve our constituents where they are. We still have to complete escrow.”

Lopez noted with the contract on the Aug. 24 Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda, the situation looked good. Funding for the $1,825,000 project came from unclaimed gas tax fund 402, intended for agricultural use.

“Being in a great, central location like that, I think would be an ideal one for the county,” Lopez said. “When our communities are looking to get services from their ag commissioner, they need them to be nearby. Our population centers are focused within our cities, but the services required by agriculture, aren’t necessarily as centered.”

He added that for communities in the southernmost regions of the county, such as Parkfield or Bradley, a drive to Salinas could be two hours or more each way, making King City a much more central location for staff and representatives from the ag commissioner to be present.

Lopez said the office would most likely be staffed by two or three people, following the pattern of the previous office.

King City’s prior office was located on Second Street, but that was closed more than a decade ago during the Great Recession.

Lopez said he was excited about the opportunity.

“It’s showing a move toward restoring a broader array of county services right where people need them the most,” he said.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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