The Ceres City Council decided on Monday to use $7,000 of federal ARPA funds to purchase and hang the first of the military banners in downtown Ceres.
In January the council appointed an ad hoc committee to begin exploring the idea of adding banners to honor Ceres’ military personnel. After becoming mayor, Javier Lopez expressed a desire to see the main thoroughfare of Hatch Road adorned with banners honoring Ceres military veterans and active personnel like what is done in Turlock and other communities.
The inaugural installations were approved for along Third, Fourth and North streets in downtown “to show support and say thank you to those current serving in the Armed Forces who reside in, or whose family resides in, the City of Ceres.”
Vice Mayor Bret Silveira expressed disappointment that the committee didn’t support banners on Hatch Road or Mitchell Road – Ceres’ most heavily traveled routes – but member John Warren explained it’s because there are not enough poles to hang the number of banners it wants to hang. Chavez said if there are more veterans to be honored, then banners could be displayed on Hatch Road or Mitchell Road.
The goal is to have about 37 banners hung the week of Nov. 10 in time for Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.
The banners will include the active service member’s picture, name, and branch of service.
Recreation Manager Joey Chavez said a survey revealed that Ceres is hometown to 123 active service personnel and 22 reserves residing in 95307 95351 and 95358 zip codes.
The program will be administered through the city Recreation Department.
Banners will hang for one year until retirement and then presented to the family.
A vendor in Turlock, All Star Trophies & Banners, has given the city a quote of $158.40 per banner with tax being extra.
The city will also be looking for financial sponsors to keep the program running after the first year to pre-empt the need to charge families of the member for the banners.
Applications for banners will be available in September.
Councilman Mike Kline said the program is “long overdue.”