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Gateway Project Officially Complete
Formal dedication of Escalon's new 'gateways' was done with a bit of pomp and circumstance on Thursday afternoon, April 10.

With the American Legion colorguard there to raise a trio of flags - the American flag in the center, flanked by the POW/MIA and California state flags - and Mayor Gary Haskin there to offer a few words, the dedication was official.

Working with just over $220,000 from a TEA, Transportation Enhancement Act, grant that was approved years ago in conjunction with the McHenry Avenue widening project, the city embarked on a campaign to dress up its entryways.

Three separate locations were included in the project, with lots on Plaza Avenue, Escalon Avenue and Highway 120 all getting the facelift. Work featured installation of decorative brickwork, benches, a new fence, flagpoles, landscaping, a clock tower at the Plaza/120 site and a couple of decorative sign boards complete with the 'Peaches and Cream' logo.

Work on the project was planned around the time of the McHenry expansion but was delayed when the city had to clean up the site of a former gas station along Escalon Avenue.

On hand for the dedication Thursday, in addition to some community residents, were City Manager Greg Greeson and council members Ed Alves and Marty Van Houten in addition to Mayor Haskin, local businessman Charles Dugo, along with David Ruby, an engineering tech for the city, and Public Works Director Doug Stidham. Ruby was given the task of seeing the project through to completion shortly after his arrival on the staff about five years ago and earned kudos from Greeson and Haskin at the ceremony.

"This was done with money left over from the McHenry project," Haskin told the small crowd attending the dedication ceremony. "Our former planner, J.D. Hightower, got us the grant and David Rudy took that challenge to work with it, this is what we have."