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City Scene: It’s a time to give thanks and gratitude

By: Kerry Miller, Folsom City Manager
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Thanksgiving is the definitive season for expressing gratitude and thanks. One of the many reasons I am grateful this year is the substantial completion of our Historic Sutter Street Revitalization Project. Our merchants have endured many months of dust, noise and heavy construction traffic as we completed the most disruptive segments of this massive construction venture. I am extremely grateful for their patience, spirit of cooperation and willingness to keep their eye on our shared goal of a dramatically improved business district. I am grateful for the outstanding work of Teichert Construction. The company’s work crews have literally worked around the clock to complete the bulk of this important project before the holiday season. They have respectfully listened to the concerns of staff and merchants and have adapted schedules to meet merchant needs. I have watched them personally escort customers across streets and to storefronts while always maintaining a friendly demeanor. I am also thankful for the city staff that has handled all aspects of this important project, from planning and engineering, to construction over sight, merchant relations and community outreach. Our project manager has practically lived on Sutter Street as he has supervised construction and dealt with countless challenges relating to the 150-year-old buildings and infrastructure. Other members of the city team have made this project a very high priority from the groundbreaking to where we are today. And, I must add that I am grateful for our residents who have continued to patronize Sutter Street. Many attended the special events, and continued to shop and dine, even though their shoes may have gotten a little dusty in the process. Some residents are regular visitors who, like me, seem to enjoy watching construction progress week to week. If you have not been to Sutter Street recently, I encourage you to visit now that the bulk of the heavy construction work is done. All underground infrastructure is complete, roadways are paved and new widened sidewalks are in place. The old wooden shed roofs are gone and some new facades are in place. Our merchants are eager to welcome you and they invite your business and patronage. In the coming month, visitors to Sutter Street may see some minimally disruptive construction activity, although the bulk of the work will be done in the very early morning hours before businesses open. Watch for completion of granite curbs and gutters and more building facades, as well as the addition of street furnishings, some landscaping and lighting. After the holidays, construction will resume with a goal of project completion in the spring. The final phase includes completion of all facades that replace the old shed roofs, additional landscaping, lighting and exciting interpretative history signage that will share the dramatic story of the district. While we will host a community-wide celebration in the spring, I hope to see you on Sutter Street before then. Take the time to enjoy the Ice Rink, the Holiday Tree Lighting on Dec. 3 or the Arts and Crafts fair the following day. I look forward to hearing your comments in person or at the e-mail address below. Folsom City Manager Kerry Miller can be reached at kmiller@folsom.ca.us.