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Our View: Council sending mixed messages on city's heritage

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Two recently announced projects may be giving residents very mixed messages. It appears to us that Rocklin?s plan to place historical monuments or artifacts in the center of planned roundabouts on Rocklin road conflicts with the city?s current posture on preservation. A report presented by the Mayor?s Roundabout Landscaping Committee recommends using reclaimed mining artifacts from the Big Gun Quarry. How can they suggest using this equipment as a pedestal for celebrating Rocklin?s history when the mayor and city manager have opposed the nomination of the Big Gun Quarry on the National Register of Historic Places? Not only that, city council members have voted to demolish the century old structures. After the Rocklin Heritage Committee began suggesting legal challenges, the city agreed to delay demolition, but only until an Environmental Impact Report could be completed. The mayor has since publicly stated that he ?regrets? the decision to spend $1 million to purchase the quarry property on Pacific Street. On June 8, city officials began meeting with Sierra College leaders to develop a master plan for the unused parcels of land owned by the college along the freeway and on both sides of Sierra College Boulevard. Aren?t these discussions rather premature? The city hasn?t even finished its proposed Oak Tree Plan. And they propose to hire an arborist -- to the tune of $50,000 -- to suggest places to plant new oak trees. We can?t help but wonder if our city leaders understand the impact of removing 1,200 oak trees along Sierra College Boulevard to develop one-million square feet of retail space. Is the city more concerned about getting revenue from the development of the college?s land at the cost of oak trees? We understand the need for bringing in revenue that will help fund city services. And yet, we think some time and effort ? and taxpayers? dollars ? could also be devoted to preserving the oak trees and Rocklin?s historical places. An artifact inside roundabouts seems like a token gesture when it comes to honoring this city?s heritage.