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City Officials Put Pardi Plaza Shade Structure on Hold

Apr 10, 2024 11:10AM ● By Angela Underwood
Dixon City officials rejected a shade structure proposal presented to them at the April 2 meeting, citing high costs as the biggest factor. Photo courtesy of the City of Dixon

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Pardi Plaza will not have a shade structure as proposed this summer.

Mayor Steve Bird and the Dixon City Council unanimously rejected a resolution on April 2 for over $185,000 for a new shade structure at the plaza, officials citing money as a factor.

Director of Public Works Louren Kotow presented officials with a brief history of Pardi Plaza in 2023. After many successful events, Kotow said community feedback requested a semi-permanent shade option “due to performers having a lot of glare from the sun during our high points in the season.”

Louren Kotow Steve Bird Dixon City Council

 Dixon Public Works Director Louren Kotow, who presented Mayor Steve Bird and Dixon City Council with detailed renderings of a proposed shade structure. Photo by Angela Underwood

In August 2023, officials were presented with a three- and four-point shade structure with six columns and three sails at a cost of around $210,000, and in November, they were given a framed option, including four columns and four sails at a cost of around $142,000.

At that point, the council authorized a project budget for the Pardi Market Plaza shade structure at $300,000 with USA Shades. Kotow said officials worked with the vendor to conduct shade studies.  

“The site is unique because of its lack of symmetry and orientation,” Kotow said. "It does not face the sun directly; the sun comes from the side."

After weekly site visits with USA Shades Representative Erik Anslinger, Kotow said they found a solution for the area of concentration directly in front of the stage.

Erik Anslinger Pardi Plaza Dixon

 USA Shades Representative Erik Anslinger, who has been working with city officials on Pardi Plaza's proposed shade structure. Photo by Angela Underwood

“We developed several different options for the relationship between the sun and stage and it became apparent that we had to really step back and rethink our approach to this,” Anslinger said.

A joined sail structure is the answer, according to Anslinger.

“As you can see, it’s kind of on the outside edge of the park, not directly right in front of the stage,” Anslinger explained in the renderings presented.

Councilmember Jim Ernst said if councilmembers did not approve the shade structure, it would limit the use of Pardi Plaza in the summer.

“I want a vibrant downtown; I want people going down there because they like it, meeting each other and talking to each other, spending money and generating taxes," Ernst said.

However, the budget does not allow for it, according to Ernst, who refused to support the resolution along with Councilmember Don Hendershot. Hendershot said he, too, would not vote yes until officials got a financial update on the city’s finances.

Vice Mayor Keven Johnson agreed, saying the proposed costs were too high.

“There are other extenuating circumstances and things that we need,” Johnson said. 

Like other officials, Johnson suggested planting trees to help shade Pardi Plaza. Mayor Steve Bird said he is not opposed to planting trees for shade.

“The biggest issue right now is timing, and maybe there are some other things that take priority over this expenditure,” Mayor Bird said. “It seemed like a good idea many months ago, but the outlook wasn’t as bleak.”

Councilmember Ernst suggested addressing the Pardi Plaza shade structure next year. Kotow said officials could bring the plans back to the table in November if they want to construct it for the summer of 2025.

“We can research other options,” Kotow said.  

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