Congressman Ami Bera tours Old Town Elk Grove, requests $2 million for historic district
A congressman who represents Elk Grove returned to the area Tuesday afternoon for a walking tour of one of the city’s priority projects: improvements to historic Old Town.
Under shade of the just-completed pavilion at Old Town Plaza on Railroad Street, U.S. Rep Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, met with Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, council members Pat Hume, Darren Suen and Kevin Spease, and public works staffers to get a progress report on the long-sought project and give his own report on the dollars he hopes to bring back from Washington.
“We’re not quite there yet,” Bera told city leaders of the work ahead to pass a bipartisan infrastructure spending package. The House in June approved the infrastructure bill but it still must go through the Senate. But, Bera added, “the real push is to involve a lot of these projects in that deal.”
Infrastructure is a big part of the plans, from sewer and gas to telecommunications and drainage and the sidewalk and street improvements that will stretch east along Elk Grove Boulevard toward Waterman Road. All are being laid to support future development in the historic district.
Meantime, the plaza’s grand opening is days away and work continues on the nearby Dust Bowl Brewing Co., taproom and restaurant on Railroad Street. The Turlock-based brewery plans to open the doors in the fall.
Economic development folks see the regional attraction of a revitalized historic district bolstered by Dust Bowl and eventual tenants to move onto Railroad Street. City leaders envision the plaza and its half-block long pavilion as a community gathering place. The pavilion’s performance stage is set up to host small-scale concerts while the space will also play host to food festivals and other events.
“This is what our community has long waited for,” Singh-Allen said. “To have a place to celebrate and come together as neighbors and family.”
“It really is the history of the city of Elk Grove. Often, it’s been underappreciated and, at times, neglected,” Bera told The Sacramento Bee. “But with the streetscape project, with more restaurants coming in, with the new Old Town Plaza, it really is going to pull the west side of Elk Grove and the east side of Elk Grove together and give us a place to gather as a community. It’s a great project and I look forward to it evolving over time.”