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Crews Devote Energy To Keeping City Clean
Public Works employee Jorge Garnica sprays down the playground equipment at the Community Center Park; crews were busy with a deep cleaning of all park equipment throughout the city on Friday, March 13. Marg Jackson/The Times

As much as possible, Public Works crews in Escalon are doing what they can to keep facilities clean for the public.

But some facilities are shutting down, as the region grips with the ongoing coronavirus issue.

“We have suspended our youth program for baseball and softball currently through the end of the month, all practices and games, any kind of events associated with them,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor explained on Friday.

Crews were working in and around the Community Center on Friday, however, giving the center a “deep cleaning” prior to the planned Escalon High School Sports Boosters Dinner Dance there on Saturday night. Ultimately, that event was hosted primarily as a ‘drive-thru’ dinner, though the center was open for the silent auction and purchase of sports items.

The city’s Public Works crews were also doing a thorough cleaning of playground equipment in all city parks and Alcantor said that work will continue on a regular basis, with the parks currently still open for use.

Also, over the weekend, Alcantor said the decision was made by the City of Stockton to shut down the Escalon Library, which is part of the Stockton-San Joaquin system. On Friday, they had suspended use of the Ekholm Meeting room there and the library was open for regular hours on Saturday, with the closure of all libraries in the countywide system announced on Sunday.

Alcantor said the situation at the city level, like other areas, is rapidly changing.

“Currently until the end of the month, we are recommending that organizers of large events follow the guidelines set forth by the California Health Department,” Alcantor said.

That has also seen a change, with the number of people suggested to gather making a steady decline, from groups of 50 on Friday to the recommendation of no more than 10 people by Monday.

Escalon’s Community Center was to host the Wednesday, March 18 Senior Fun Bunch monthly gathering but that was cancelled, and the Thursday night, March 19 Escalon Lions Club Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner has been cancelled as well. It may be rescheduled at a later date.

“The rest of the month we don’t have anything on the schedule there,” Alcantor added of the Community Center, with hopes for resuming normal operations in April.

That, however, is not certain and two events on the schedule – the Good Time Accordion Club on April 8 and the Escalon Wrestling Club dinner on April 18 – are still in the ‘tentative’ stage with a final decision about whether they can be held anticipated closer to the actual event dates.

Also, the Tuesday and Thursday Senior Lunch Program at the Community Center will instead be a ‘take out only’ from the site, said Alcantor, with those seniors wanting a lunch able to stop by and get a meal to go.

Around the community, members of the Escalon American Legion said their planned Saturday night dinner on March 21 has been cancelled; they will reassess the situation to determine if they will resume the once a month dinners in April.

Alcantor said at the city and county levels, many meetings are being held as teleconferences now as opposed to face to face.

“We want to limit the contact,” she said.