Pam Bertani, center, works with volunteers to clean up a lot on the corner of Texas and Taylor street in Fairfield, Saturday.  (Daily Republic-Adam Smith)

Pam Bertani, center, works with volunteers to clean up a lot on the corner of Texas and Taylor street in Fairfield, Saturday. (Daily Republic-Adam Smith)


Bertani, volunteers give downtown eyesore a facelift

By From page A4 | December 09, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Larry Bluford Jr. has driven by the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts many times but never thought much about what was across the street from it.

Sitting at the corner of Taylor and Texas streets across from the theater is an empty, open lot. It was the kind of lot where people threw their garbage or deposited their old furniture and the like.

When Fairfield City Councilwoman Pam Bertani enlisted the help of Bluford and Operation T.H.U.G.S. to clean up the lot, he had no idea what she was talking about.

“I think I unconsciously block it out when I pass by,” he said.

Bertani wants to change that perspective of the empty lot and of downtown Fairfield. So this week, with the help of several volunteers, Bertani gave that lot a facelift in the hopes that people would look at it and be proud of it.

“This is the gateway to downtown,” she said. “It’s got to look prettier.”

The location is prime real estate, Bertani said, located across from the theater in the heart of Fairfield.

This week she and volunteers from Operation T.H.U.G.S. cleaned the lot, put up a fence and spread bark over the grounds. Her next step is to target specific retailers, such as a retail store or restaurant, to bring their business to the location.

Before the cleanup, Bertani described the lot as full of weeds, beer cans and cigarette butts.

“It’s hard to sell a business to come here. Would you put your place down here?” she said.

But thanks to the hard work by volunteers, the lot might just attract a second look by those passing by.

“We’re making it happen,” she said.

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 09, 2012 - 7:37 am

    That lot has been an eyesore and cleaning it up was a worthwhile project. However, thinking that a clean lot will help lure an anchor tenant shows how little Ms. Bertani knows about economic development. Most successful restaurant and retail companies, that would be an anchor type location, do their due dilegence in making sure that the local demographics, visibility, parking and other key criteria meet their business model. Whether the lot is shovel-ready might be a factor, but not is the lot pretty.

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  • DJKDecember 09, 2012 - 11:51 am

    great effort & thanks to the volunteers and Ms. Bertani. It is the little steps that change attitudes and attempt to bring life to downtown Fairfield.

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  • elleryDecember 10, 2012 - 12:46 am

    This councilwoman cleans up an empty lot to beautify our city on her own time, and this cat mr pratical still finds something negative about it. bah humbug.

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  • RichDecember 09, 2012 - 9:59 am

    Does this now mean that Councilwoman Bertani now agrees that redevelopment was a fraud and that the money was wasted? After all, government run redevelopment was supposed to take care of blight in urban areas, remember?

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