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Use ARPA funds to help put Ceres on the map

Editor, Ceres Courier,

The remaining ARPA funds, around $4 million, provide the city of Ceres the opportunity to build a multipurpose locally renowned indoor facility for community use.

Currently, Ceres is known for its agriculture, Cade Cowell, and the Franzia co-founded Bronco Wine Company.  In other words, Ceres does not boast an abundance of things for which it is revered throughout the region or state. There is little uniqueness to incentivize foot traffic from Modesto or the surrounding communities. This must change if we want to see a thriving and buzzling Ceres commerce.

On August 22, 2022, the City Council hinted a commitment to using the remaining ARPA funds for rejuvenating and expanding our parks as a priority – Ochoa Park being the glaring favorite. Ochoa Park has a proposed $400,000 budget reserved for improvements. The park is surrounded by a sizable lot of public land. The latest development in completing the park is a call for public input on further improvements.

As the public, a growing majority of us believe such allotment of land and funds could be used to build a living-roof facility like the California Science Academy, or Facebook Menlo Park Facility, and combine it with the Sports House business model in Redwood City and generate revenue for Ceres. The investment could pay itself off through rentals, provide jobs, build on our reputation as a city with amazing parks/dog parks, and attract the healthy foot traffic we desperately need within our city and for our businesses.


Alvaro Franco,


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