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Six blocks of downtown street lights may be wrapped with decorative lights
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The ambiance crated by holiday lights could become a year round part of downtown Manteca.

It’s a small step but the City of Manteca may move forward with making downtown a bit brighter.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday will consider spending $17,000 to have decorative lighting wrapped around 50 Tidewater-style street lights in the 100 and 200 blocks of East Yosemite, the 100 and 200 blocks of West Yosemite (and one light in the 300 block), the 100 block of North Maple Avenue and the 100 block of North Main.

The recommendation of the Economic Development Committee advanced by municipal staff was based on positive feedback the city has received during the holiday season when white lights are placed in trees along four blocks of Yosemite Avenue. The city as well as downtown merchants have received a number of requests from residents to have lights in place year round.

A number of other cities have added such lights with the nearest example being Ripon. They are designed to create a more inviting feel that is generally well-received.

The council is being asked to amend the city street light maintenance contract with Bear Electric Solutions to purchase and install decorative LED lights.

Wraps of 1-foot to 1½ feet will start eight feet above the ground and go to the top of the poles. That will allow them to be out of reach of vandals.

It was determined that placing strings of lights on new trees planted recently could damage their ability to mature properly plus it would be a labor intensive process with a higher potential for vandalism. In the past city crews on a daily basis have had to repair or replace lights during the time they are in place during the holidays.

The lights are part of an ongoing process the council launched this year with the formation of an Economic Development Committee to recommend ways to improve the appeal of Manteca’s existing commercial areas in a bid to generate more economic activity as well as to help efforts to retain business and create new jobs through existing businesses and building space whether they are commercial or business park in nature.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email