Civic Auditorium

The Hanford City Council meets inside the Hanford Civic Auditorium.

Sentinel file photo

HANFORD – The Hanford City Council on Tuesday could approve an approximately $1 million contract to renovate the Bastille.

The former Kings County Jail, with its historic facade in Civic Park, has become dilapidated and has been vacant since the last tenant, a nightclub, left in 2009.

If council members approve a contract, they'll have to decide how to pay for it.

It's likely to require the council to borrow money from funds budgeted for other purposes.

The Bastille, considered a historic Hanford building, generated a lot of interest at the City Council meeting on March 7.

Several Hanford residents spoke out in favor of the city keeping the building and not trying to sell it.

The Bastille needs repairs to the outside structure as well as extensive interior renovation.

The $1 million contract the council could approve Tuesday doesn't include interior renovation.

Last year, local developer Jerry Irons submitted a proposal to bring a microbrewery to the Bastille, but he wants the city to commit to both the needed repairs to the outside structure and to interior renovation work.

Irons estimates the city needs to invest a total of $2 million to $2.25 million in the Bastille to get it into a condition where he could bring a microbrewery in.

In other business, the council will:

  • Vote to fill two vacant positions on the Hanford Planning Commission. The vote comes with controversy related to Sue Sorensen, who attempted, through private conversations, to influence at least two other council members, Justin Mendes and Martin Devine, to oppose the application of former Hanford Mayor Dan Chin to be on the commission. Sorensen's actions likely violated the Brown Act, the state's open meetings law that requires discussions of council business to be conducted in public.
  • Hold a study session looking into the possibility of raising garbage pick-up fees for Hanford residents.

The council's study session is 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers inside the Civic Auditorium in Civic Park. The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m.

The reporter can be reached at or 583-2432. 

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