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March 1, 2021

Soledad City Council discusses centennial celebrations, first roundabout

Multiple events planned in honor of 100-year history

SOLEDAD — Plans for Soledad’s centennial celebration were discussed during Soledad City Council’s Jan. 20 meeting. 

Interim City Manager Brent Slama said plans for a larger presentation are in the works, but gave a preview of ideas for the centennial celebrations, which will include a centennial spotlight to recognize numerous people, groups and places that have had an impact on the city’s 100-year history.

“It’s an opportunity throughout the year for us to recognize those that have made contributions and also talk a little bit more about the history of Soledad,” Slama said.

Soledad officially turns 100 on March 9, but because of the ongoing pandemic restrictions, plans were already put in place to spread festivities throughout the year rather than have a large in-person event on the exact date.

“We’re celebrating our 100th year and we’ll be having celebrations throughout the year, which makes it pretty exciting,” said Soledad Mayor Anna Velazquez. 

“We have 20 or so more opportunities to recognize people, that’s kind of the goal of this program,” Slama added. “As far as the centennial goes, our work continues. We have our next community meeting the first Tuesday in February. Our local committee is working hard on a lot of things.”

The first item is a coloring contest aimed at Soledad’s school-aged children, where they’ve been asked to draw with the theme, “What does Soledad mean to you?”

Slama said artwork will be recognized on the city’s Facebook page and plans are in the works to turn the art into a digital scrapbook.

“This is the beginning of many more opportunities,” Velazquez said.

City’s first roundabout

The city leaders also looked ahead to the development of the first roundabout in Soledad as traffic is expected to become heavier along Metz Road coming into town in the future.

The council approved by a 3-1 vote to enter into a $959,000 contract with Don Chapin Company Inc. for the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Metz Road and East Street.

Public Works Director Oscar Antillon said the roundabout was approved years ago and is now coming to fruition, with construction able to begin as soon as the item was approved. He explained the city received 11 bids with an average amount of $1.2 million. 

Velazquez said the outreach plan to inform the community of progress with the roundabout, traffic impacts and rerouting will be critical.

“This is our first roundabout,” Velazquez said. “I know there was already some apprehension. The more we can do to do our due diligence to communicate to our residents for some of those challenges that they’re going to have with traffic issues, I think the better off we’ll be.”

A construction schedule is already in development and once finished, Antillon noted it would be published in all outreach media the city has. Afterward, the city will provide updates as the project moves along.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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