To infuse a fresh perspective into the streets of California, the California Park Department and Tipton Correctional Center (TCC) inmates have collaborated on a significant project. This initiative, funded by the E.M. Burger Foundation, marks the first comprehensive refurbishment of the decorative heritage-style street lights around town since their installation in 1992.

Robert Pace, the park supervisor, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen them painted.” He emphasized the collective effort to paint all the lights simultaneously, noting that many of them had never been painted before. The project took precedence over tree-trimming due to the busy schedule of the city’s Electric Department, and Pace aims to complete it before inclement weather sets in.

TCC inmates, known for their previous community contributions, have been actively involved in the painting project, receiving compensation of $10 per day and meals in exchange for their assistance. The E.M. Burger Foundation, which initially supported the installation of some of the lights in 1992, is providing funding for the refurbishment. Sara Rohrbach, the budget director for the foundation, highlighted the organization’s commitment to enhancing the community’s aesthetics.

While the foundation typically focuses on funding specific projects, this maintenance endeavor was deemed a special case. Rohrbach expressed, “(S)ince these were a little bit different… and we were in on purchasing some of them, we thought it was a good fit to get them shined back up.”

California Progress Inc. originally installed the lights in 1992 as part of a beautification plan, and the recent painting project aims to uphold the city’s commitment to being a well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing community.

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