City is lighting up its tower
The dream of lighting Orland’s historic water tower at night will come true Tuesday, and the city is celebrating with a party.
The ceremony will take place at the Welcome to Orland Centennial Park around 8 p.m. or when it starts to get dark.
The park is where the clock is off Highway 32 at the west entrance to town.
There will be a band, fire trucks and police cars at the park too that will shine their headlights towards the tower, according to Interim City Manager Gail Wingard.
Orland Economic Development Commssioner Gary Campbell spearheaded the lighting campaign and got the City Council to appropriate $2,000 for the project this spring.
His goal is to attract visitors to the city at night as they drive past Orland on Interstate 5 or travel toward Chico on Highway 32.
Campbell plans to speak on behalf of commission while Helen Duree will talk as a representative of the Orland Area Chamber of Commerce.
Historian Gene Russell also is scheduled to speak about the tower which is 100 years old this year. He belongs to the Orland Historical and Cultural Society.
Economic Development Commissioner Steve Monck said this one of several ongoing projects by the commission to preserve local historic resources.
Among them is the Orland Arch on Old Highway 99 West.
Campbell and the commission want to re-light that structure as it had been years ago, and the city is looking into installing solar lighting on it.
However, community fundraising is needed to complete that project, city officials said, so Campbell and his colleagues ask community groups and individuals for support on that endeavor.
Campbell has said the lighted water tower should be visible at some distance along both Interstate 5 and Highway 32 which should draw motorists’ attention.
The EDC also hopes downtown businesses and restaurants will stay open later at night once the lighted tower starts drawing people into town, members said.
A few restaurants are open at least to 9 p.m., but most stores close between 5 and 6 p.m., officials said.
Nonetheless, Duree has said she believes special evening events could be scheduled to bring people downtown and businesses will be inclined to be open longer if they see traffic coming into Orland at night.
Duree also sits on the Economic Development Commission along with Campbell, Monck, Mike Yalow and Angus Saint-Evens.