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Manteca has $845K set aside for upgrades

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New playground equipment put in place this summer at Mayors Park.

HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin/

POSTED August 18, 2014 12:13 a.m.

New residents are helping pay for upgrades to aging playground equipment in Manteca’s older neighborhood parks.

Manteca has $845,000 set aside to make playground equipment improvements in the coming months.

The city recently completed playground replacements at Mayors, St. Francis and William Martin parks.

Meetings with neighborhood residents allowed them to provide input and personalize their play equipment components and colors. Feedback from residents shows they are satisfied with the improvements and have already noticed more children playing in the parks.

Playground improvements are planned for next spring at Crestwood, Doxey and Yosemite parks.

Manteca is into the 14th year of upgrading playground equipment at the city’s various parks that predate 1990. Some playgrounds had fallen into disrepair due to extensive vandalism. Many no longer met new mandatory safety standards established in 2000 by the State of California and Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The price tag for the 25 parks targeted for upgrades including new playground equipment back in 2000 was pegged at $4 million. That included making other park improvements in addition to the playground upgrades. After spending $2.2 million and completing just 10 playgrounds, the city in 2009 opted to concentrate almost exclusively on playgrounds to accelerate the process in response to concerns expressed by parents about older equipment still in place.

Since 2009 the city has have replaced 10 more playgrounds.

There are about a half dozen left.

Of the money set aside for playground equipment upgrades, $645,000 is from growth fees charged against each new home for parks. The remaining $200,000 consists of bonus bucks or development agreement fees paid by builders to assure sewer allocation for residential projects.

The city spends an average of $10,000 a year to maintain playground equipment at each neighborhood park.

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