City Manager Eugene Palazzo is sort of a newbie in Galt and he likes the city he now calls home. It has what he was looking for in a community.
Palazzo has been in city government for years, most recently in Crescent City and before that Folsom, Riverbank and South Lake Tahoe. He became Galt’s city manager in March.
“My story is that I wanted to get back to the valley and I wanted to make sure I had a nice, family oriented community,” he said.
“Galt really fits that ticket.”
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Terry Parker, broker/owner with Parker Realty, said people like Galt because “it’s located smack dab in the middle of Sacramento and Stockton and that’s convenient. It’s easy to get around Galt or get on the freeway and go.”
“We’re pretty much insulated in our own community with stores, a low crime rate and excellent schools.”
Engineering and an agricultural program are offered in high school and the arts program is nationally recognized.
“We’ve made a name for ourselves,” she said.
Palazzo also noted that Galt has a low crime rate and that it’s easy to get around town. There’s con nectivity with the bicycle trail, he said.
More stores are on the horizon, he said, providing shopping for residents.
Galt is a sports oriented community with programs at the sports complex and at the parks where people can participate in sports, family recreation and senior programs, Palazzo said. Galt’s Sports Complex has three lighted softball fields, play structures, horseshoe pits, picnic area, pavilion, and barbeque area.
“It’s an awesome sports center,” he said.
Friday night football is a big thing in Galt, Parker said. It’s our entertainment.
“You see families out at football, soccer, other sports and the high school dramas.”
The community supports the activities.
“Not many weekends go by when there’s not a dinner or fundraiser,” she said.
Other activities in Galt include events such as the upcoming 10th annual Winter Bird Festival on Jan. 21, the Strawberry Festival in May and Independence Day celebrations.
Recent holiday events included the Lighting of the Night Parade and Santa Claus.
Food Trucks are downtown every first Saturday of the month.
Galt also has three wineries: Barsetti Vineyards, Grace Vineyards and Hanford Ranch Winery.
The Galt Market is a popular spot and open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“Typically it has anything and everything you want to buy,” Palazzo said.
For everyday needs, Raley’s and Save Mart and smaller retailers are located in the community.
Parker said that the east side area has some of the larger retailers and the west side is old town Galt. It’s kind of quaint and a nice place to walk around.
Currently, there are three active subdivisions, Palazzo said - Woodbury at River Oaks by Elliott Homes; Parker Creek by KB Home, and Emerald Park #22 from 4G’s Development Co.
Resale homes are more affordable in Galt than in neighboring communities, Parker said.
Currently there are 37 homes on the market which range in price from $203,000 up to $500,000. The median price is $339,000; the average days on the market is 27.
“Galt is in a very healthy market right now,” Parker said. “Prices are increasing by a moderate amount.”
Palazzo summed up the appeal of Galt. People who settle there are looking for good schools, low-crime rate, recreation opportunities and parks, he said. The location is good for people to commute to downtown Sacramento or Stockton.
Parker said, “Galt may be a small town, but it offers many features that residents like. I can’t think of a better place to live.”
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.
Where: about 25 miles south of Sacramento
Size: 5 square miles
Government: City Manager/City Council
A look back
Galt had its beginnings during the Gold Rush when a group of farmers settled around the banks of Dry Creek. It was first known as Liberty. In 1869, the town was laid out by the Western Pacific Railroad and rancher John McFarland renamed the community Galt after his home town in Canada. The community consisted of blacksmiths, dairymen and cattle ranchers.
By the year 1880, Galt had a post office, two general merchandise stores, a variety store, hotel, harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two saloons, meat market, a few other shops plus three physicians and one attorney.
Over the years, cattle ranching and dairies decreased and agriculture, primarily growing wheat, increased.
Galt has kept its small-town charm and its historical roots which are reflected in places such as the McFarland Ranch.