New cafe destined for downtown

The Multi-Purpose Center has been home to offerings like Senior Dining since 1980. It appears a cafe will eventually move into the building, but city leaders, disputing rumors in town, insist services like the Senior Dining program will return to Tracy after the pandemic passes. From where those services will be offered is unknown. Photo / Per Peterson

Business would occupy Multi-Purpose Center building; City remains 100% committed to maintaining its senior services into the future

While the City of Tracy is moving forward to enhance the downtown area in multiple ways, fear has spread about town that the beloved Multi-Purpose Center will become a victim of that progress.

Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen did confirm Tuesday that the building has been targeted to be the home of a new downtown cafe, but added that programs like Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels have a definite future in Tracy — just in a different building.

“I certainly can confirm that the city council is working with someone to bring a cafe downtown,” Hansen said. “We’re really excited, because the public has been clamoring for something like that since the Red Rooster closed. It’s been sensitive, because we also want to make sure that we have a Senior Center — because that is the location we’re looking at for it.”

Hansen said the rumor that the City intends to shut down the Multi-Purpose Center for good — and all the services that are provided out of it — is “patently false. The city council and the City is 100% committed to having a senior center in Tracy, Hansen said.

“When this terrible pandemic ends, we will resume operations with the senior center — 100%,” he said. “We’ve been working with Lutheran Social Services, which wants to stay in Tracy; their executives have been here — they’re certainly committed to staying in Tracy as well, as far as I know.”

Hansen said while the City’s ultimate goal is to continue to provide all the services currently available at the MPC, including Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels, it also is taking on a balancing act between maintaining those services to Tracy residents and building downtown.

“We’re trying to keep all our services and bring new businesses to town,” Hansen said. “The services we offer — we intend to continue to provide those same services as well.”

The MPC, which has been housed in the former Farmers and Merchants State Bank since April 1980, has been closed since March because of COVID-19 and will continue to be shuttered for the foreseeable future. However, Hansen reiterated that when the pandemic ends, all services will resume.

Tracy EDA Director Jeff Carpenter said the City will be reaching out to the senior community and looking for input on what they would like to see happen.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.