Exeter paints a picture with the Clean California Grant

Exeter applies for the Clean California Grant to add murals, renovate the old jailhouse, clean up main alleyway

EXETER – As 2023 makes its way here, the city of Exeter has planned a community meeting to discuss plans for beautification projects such as adding pavers, murals and even cleaning up the old jailhouse.

Exeter is full of a rich history that can be seen interwoven in its plentiful murals across town. Many of its quaint and historical buildings are nestled next to colorful paintings on vintage brick walls. It’s almost become the city’s trademark. 

Soon, even more character will be added to the city, as city manager Adam Ennis said they are applying for the Clean California Grant, which will allow Exeter to start beautification projects that will only add to the city’s charm. Ennis said that they are in the planning phases of these projects, and are hoping to hear the public’s thoughts at an upcoming community meeting on Jan. 4.

The city of Exeter is hosting the community meeting at the council chambers, located at 137 N. F St., Exeter, Calif. and will begin at 5:30 p.m. 

“We thought it would be really nice to try to do some more [to downtown] to make it even more special down there,” Ennis said. “What will happen [at the meeting] is staff will present what our thoughts are and our ideas at this point.”

At the meeting, residents can come and voice their opinions on how the Clean California Grant is used. The city will be applying for roughly $3 million dollars of the grant funding, and is hoping to use it to restore the old Jailhouse that is located behind the fire station, renovate the city’s public restrooms, paint new murals and install decorative LED streetlights.

The alley between the Hometown Emporium and Mandarin House is one of the main focuses of the beautification project. In this alley are ideal brick walls for murals, in which Ennis said they are hoping to add around two. In the same alley are the public restrooms and old jail. They also want to put pavers in the alley, and make the old jailhouse look similar to the historic Kingsburg jail.

After hearing public comment, the city hopes to have their project deadline nailed down by April. The reason they chose that specific alley was not only because of the jail, but also because the public restrooms in that area are used frequently during public events. Currently, the city is seeing vandalism in those restrooms, and hope the beautification projects will clean the alley up.

“[We’re trying to clean up] one of the places in the downtown where we get a lot of foot traffic during events,” Ennis said. “Any time we can pick up any of those areas, it makes sense to do it, and that’s a pretty good alley to do it.”

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