Wednesday Feb 23 2011
Lincoln has a lot of positives going for it
By: Carol Feineman, News Messenger Editor
With hard-hitting budget cuts to be made to the General Fund, Lincoln has plenty of problem-solving ahead these next several months. This fiscal year’s projected shortfall is $1.5 million and next year’s projected shortfall is $1.06, according to city officials at the Feb. 16 public budget workshop With stats like that, it’s refreshing to sometimes remind ourselves that Lincoln has a lot of positive news. Case in point is that some Lincoln businesses have good reason to cheer. Lincoln businesses expanding their spaces include Panaderia La Michoacana, a family-run Mexican grocery store and bakery on 5th Street; and Guiding Fitness and Old Town Pizza in the Brands Feed Building on G Street. Then there’s Sparks, Nev.-based Knee Deep Brewing Company, which plans to open in April at the former Beerman’s (645 5th St.). In addition, the brewing company’s co-owner Jeremy Warren and the building’s leasing agent, Tony Wood, told The News Messenger in separate conversations last week that a restaurant could open in the building. For CENTURY 21 Select Realtor Ron Barringer, it’s easy to sell Lincoln to prospective business owners. “Basically, it’s our general plan. We have a lot of things going for Lincoln,” Barringer said. “With the Lincoln Highway 65 bypass’s completion comes more development. That means more industry, which brings in more development of houses, which brings in more people, which brings more economic advantage for the commercial side. More people need more things, more services, more everything. It goes all down the line to more fire and more police staff.” Besides attracting business owners to Lincoln, Barringer indicated that Lincoln is just as welcoming for individuals looking for a new city to call home. “Another thing that brings a lot of people to Lincoln is it has very little crime and we’ve kept it that way over the years. I’ve had people move from Sacramento, where there’s crime every day, because it’s safer here for their children,” Barringer said. “But if there’s a crime in Lincoln, it’s front-page news.” Barringer calls Lincoln “a little hidden village.” “That environment is so attractive to people. Ask people, ‘Gee how do you like Lincoln’ and they say, ‘Well, I can walk down the streets at 9 p.m. and it’s safe,’” Barringer said. “I’m three blocks from downtown Lincoln – my kids go to Fotos Market at 8 p.m. and it’s OK.” How do Barringer’s out-of-town clients hear about Lincoln? “They hear about Lincoln from people who come here, those coming through for a concert, those who attend our events like the Fourth of July,” Barringer said. “We have people from Sacramento, Stockton, Auburn who come to our Fourth of July because it’s safe and a family-oriented event. You don’t get a lot of places like that.” Lincoln’s safety and its proximity to other destinations can’t be beat, according to Barringer. “Our biggest hit is our environment – we don’t have the crime environment Sacramento, Roseville and Stockton have. We’re growing but 40 percent of our growth is senior citizens,” Barringer said. “I’ve been here 40 years and I’ve sold property to people who went back East and came back here. They said they’d never leave again. It’s difficult to leave Lincoln because of the weather and it’s close to the Sierra and the ocean. You can get any kind of sports activity or entertainment activity within driving distance.” Barringer, a Realtor for 35 years, has been active in Lincoln’s planning as a former mayor, City Councilman and General Plan committee member. “It’s a town worth spending time in and for,” Barringer said. And although Lincoln is currently in the midst of a challenging budget deficit, Lincoln will work through it, according to Barringer. “It’s a slow improvement but it is improving,” Barringer said. “I think, in three years, we’ll start seeing a better economy, we’ll have the bypass in, there will be a lot more advantages for us.” That’s a nice mantra to believe in, as we work through General Fund deficit problems.