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Library Park project still waiting on utility lines

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POSTED January 7, 2010 2:46 a.m.
It’s been seven years in the making and the city is ready to go and has the money but the biggest part of the Library Park expansion still hasn’t gotten underway.

After years of property negotiations with owners of the phone company building to the west – first Contel, next GTE, and then Verizon – for a property swap things were ready to go. Then utility line conflicts beneath Poplar Avenue involving Verizon and PG&E has now delayed the project.

One solution is to move the lines to the west side of the Tidewater. That, though, involves negotiating an easement from Union Pacific.

Expectations were high 21 months ago that the second phase improvements predicated on tearing out part of Poplar Avenue south of the entrance to the library parking lot would be in place by the start of this summer. Those improvements include the installation of walkways, brick banding, irrigation and landscaping, trees, site furniture, lights, electrical, baseball memorial seating with tiles, additional train seats, history walk, and a new gazebo with amphitheatre-style seating near the Tidewater Bike Path and interactive water feature.

The city awarded Goodland Landscape Construction the contract to proceed on April 7, 2008. Eight months later, the city was forced to pay $21,958 to Goodland for expenses they incurred because of the unanticipated problem with the utility lines.

Manteca has 27 park projects on the books that will cost in excess of $61 million.

Of the projects, 10 have restricted funding in place totaling more than $1.5 million.

The City Council last year instructed staff to fast track projects that have funding in place and won’t impact the general fund to take advantage of dropping construction costs plus to generate private sector jobs. The money can’t be used except for the purposes that it has been collected for which is to construct park and recreation facilities. That is why it can’t be used to ease the general fund revenue shortfall. Ten projects on the list at the time have already been completed.

The vast majority of the shortfall for park projects has always been expected to come from growth related fees.

Projects funded with growth fees on new housing and the construction fund balances are as follows:

•Parks and recreation master plan, $459,000.

•Playground renovations, $103,000. The project is in progress. Each playground has an annual maintenance cost of $15,400.

•Spreckels Park/BMX track, $132,700. The project is in progress. The project has an annual maintenance cost of $38,000.

Redevelopment agency funded parks projects include:

•Library Park expansion, $696,900. The project is in progress. The project has an annual maintenance cost of $6,700.

•Library Park/Verizon perimeter wall, $67,000. The project is in progress. The project has an annual maintenance cost of $5,800.

•Conceptual plan for veterans’ memorial at Library Park, $50,000.

Community Development Block Grant park projects are:

•Park security cameras, $30,000.

Development mitigation fee funds or bonus bucks collected from developers for residential sewer allocation certainty are as follows:

•Library/Verizon perimeter wall, $23,000. The project is in progress. The annual maintenance cost is $5,800.

•Library Park improvements, $448,000. The project is in progress. The annual maintenance cost is $6,700.

•Playground renovations, $200,000. Each playground requires $15,400 in annual maintenance upkeep.

Unfunded projects include:

•Woodward Park group picnic shelter, $270,000. The annual maintenance is $2,800.

•Tidewater/Moffat phase two improvements, $350,000. The annual maintenance is $5,200.

•Dog park, $102,000. The annual maintenance is $15,800.

•Lincoln Park parking lot reconstruction, $350,000.

•Woodward Park Bridewell parking lot, $594,000.

•Woodward Park perimeter exercise stations, $75,000. The annual maintenance is $3,700.

•Woodward baseball field, $1.6 million. The annual maintenance is $16,400.

•Woodward amphitheatre, $1.9 million. The annual maintenance is $6,300.

•Woodward concessions/restrooms, $864,000. The annual maintenance is $18,700.

•Skate park improvements, $400,000. The annual maintenance is $26,100.

•Playground renovations, $500,000. The annual maintenance cost is $15,400.

•Woodward tennis center, $4.1 million. The annual maintenance is $139,000.

•Performing/visual arts center, $18 million. The annual maintenance is $68,000.

•Community center, $16 million. The annual maintenance is $64,000.

•Aquatics center, $16 million. The annual maintenance cost is $72,500.
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