The Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association is getting to close the books on the 2015-16 fiscal year and is reporting a year that saw more partnerships and programs, all of which helped to shine a light on the downtown area.
“We accomplished a lot over the year and aimed to be more inclusive and form better alliances,” said TDPOA Executive Director Gina Loretelli Tuesday night in presenting the organization’s annual report to the Turlock City Council.
TDPOA began their year with their board of directors voting to increase the property taxes by 2.5 percent, as allowed by the Property Based Improvement District regulations. The increase is primarily funding maintenance and beautification projects in the downtown corridor, while the organization sought out more sponsorships and partnerships to help fund the special events that draw visitors to downtown. Over the fiscal year the TDPOA spent more than $24,000 on tree pruning and deferred maintenance items, like repairing sidewalk pavers lifted by tree roots, according to the annual report.
The past year also saw the debut of a new logo for the TDPOA and a re-branding effort that promotes the downtown area, rather than TDPOA itself. The new logo is being used on all banners, print media, social media, and event publications.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our logo,” Loritelli said.
TDPOA continued with beautification efforts for the downtown by restoring the planter pots and partnering with the Turlock Garden Club, which has added various pops of color in the downtown landscape. The effort to reestablish the planter pots included installing a new irrigation system that is drought efficient.
“While this system still needs some minor tweaks before it is perfect, we feel this system will be more efficient and less likely to attract the opportunity of theft or vandalism,” Loritelli stated in the report.
The report highlights several partnerships the TDPOA formed over the year to put on several community events, including a partnership with the Kiwanis Club for the Turlock Fourth of July festivities; a partnership with the City of Turlock for the Turlock Kids Iron Chef Competition; and a partnership with the Turlock Journal and a sponsorship from the Turlock Irrigation District to put on the Festival of Lights.
“The downtown has relied more and more on sponsorships as the events have gotten more costly,” Loritelli said.
The TDPOA has several events upcoming for the remainder of the year, including a series of paint and wine nights, restaurant and retail promotions, and the Fourth of July parade.
“I think I speak on behalf of the city that we really enjoy the partnership with the downtown and I like the preview of what’s coming up,” said Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth.