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.
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