Downtown could get LED makeover
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Dec 03, 2013 | 4023 views | 7 7 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Accent lights, such as this one near the base of tree on 10th Street on Tuesday, Nov. 26, may soon be replaced with LEDs.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Accent lights, such as this one near the base of tree on 10th Street on Tuesday, Nov. 26, may soon be replaced with LEDs. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
City officials are looking to brighten up the downtown area by replacing accent lights around trees with LEDs.

Round, decorative lights used to highlight the trees were first installed in 2004 and 2005 as part of the Downtown Streetscape project. The goal of that project was to beautify 10th Street and Central Avenue by replacing the streets, curbs, gutters and sidewalks and planting new trees to replace the old shade trees.

City officials are trying to determine how many of the 104 lights still work and what it would take to make them all operational, according to Don Scholl, Tracy public works superintendent.

“There are a good number of them that aren’t functioning,” he said. “It could be limited to a few different repairs. We’re still working on proposals to make the repairs and get a better assessment of what needs to be done.”

Scholl added: “It’s early in the stage of planning.”

He speculated that the failure of some of the lights could be credited to tree roots, vandalism and water intrusion.

Unlike the strings of lights that city workers installed last week for the Christmas season, the accent lights create a friendlier downtown atmosphere throughout the year, Scholl said.

“It’s a nice feature if we can get them going again,” he said. “We’ll try to get that done.”

Tracy City Center Association chairman Dino Margaros, whose organization’s duties include overseeing the beautification of the downtown, said the project has “got to be done.”

“Half work and half don’t,” he said. “It won’t be for this year, but it’s in the queue for next year.”

Although the cost of repairing or replacing lights is unknown, Scholl said it would likely have to be funded through a Capital Improvement Program, which would require approval by the Tracy City Council.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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December 07, 2013

It's been awhile since I saw the press. What happened to your "disguised" speech?
December 07, 2013
Its pretty appalling that they are talking about replacing light fixtures that are not even 10 years old yet. I have belly button lint older than that. Where did they buy the current ones? From some random person hanging around outside walmart?
December 04, 2013
How is this making our downtown area more user friendly? The city of Tracy and it's planners are high on something I wish they would share with the rest of the population because if and when we venture there, it's in the daylight hours to stop and go,and not even consider being there after sundown. Face it you blew the chance to make it right back in the 90's when housing development and sales were at their peak. The revenue from this surge was wasted on who knows what. That was the time to look forward to making Tracy a family and business friendly environment not centered around a pathetic mall, but rather enhancing your historic downtown area by cleaning up all the blight and crime, encouraging new business and capitalizing on the concept of being deemed a Historic Downtown City.

As a reference, Some of you will balk and use the excuse of a higher per capita earning level based on income, but you have to remember that back when I first arrived in Tracy, the population was 25,000 and grew much faster than Livermore, the difference here was they regulated their growth and took into account how to make their downtown area more appealing.

December 03, 2013
Which condemned buildings in the downtown business district are you referring to? Do you mean some rundown though not condemned buildings that are owned by private business owners and are not the city's responsibility unless it is safety hazard to the general public? (Although unattractive are structurally safe.)
December 03, 2013
How about putting money into making some of those condemned buildings able to be occupied?

Oh wait... that would actually make sense. Almost forgot....
December 03, 2013
Better yet, howbout turning the TV on in front of Helms Ale House. It will give folks something to do while there looking at the big hot tub in the middle of the traffic circle. It also should give the masses at the Transportation Hub something to do while there waiting for the Busses and Trains to stop.
December 05, 2013

So you would be cool with the city spending pubic monies, AKA your tax dollars, to improve properties it doesn't own so that the property owners can profit from it?

To me that doesn't make much sense at all.

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