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VA looks to buy Manteca parcel; City Council eyes Gordon property

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POSTED September 2, 2016 12:59 a.m.

More services for veterans could be coming to Manteca.
Representatives of the Veterans Administration have been quietly scouting parcels around Manteca including a city-owned parcel immediately west of the Manteca Community Center/Manteca Veterans Center that the city built last year on Moffat Boulevard.
The possible sale of the parcel that backs up to the Tidewater Bikeway is on the agenda for a closed door meeting of the Manteca City Council on Tuesday. City officials are mum on any potential negotiations.
 Veterans Administration officials have been impressed with Manteca’s growing community effort — and that of the City of Manteca — to provide support for veterans not just in Manteca but surrounding communities as well.
Manteca’s central site also intrigues the VA.

Union Road eyesore
subject of negotiating
between Manteca & state
Also on the Manteca City Council’s closed door meeting agenda on Tuesday is the potential purchase of the infamous fenced off Gordon property at 1085 South Union Road.
The city is negotiation with the state apparently to buy the property that was once not only a big eyesore but also functioned at one time as a major enclave for illegal homeless encampments. The property on South Union Road at its intersection with Mission Ridge Drive is currently fenced off.
The property has been blighted since the mid-1980s. There have been a number of fires over the years with the most recent in June of 2013 that threatened nearby homes. The remaining structures were razed at that time to severely reduce the problem of illegal homeless camping. Officials believe the fires on the property were inadvertently started by homeless individuals either trying to stay warm or cooking food.
The property was once used to operate a chemical reformulation and repackaging business. Although leftover chemicals were removed, an investigation noted 13 areas that are contaminated with lead, arsenic, and cadmium, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and petroleum hydrocarbons. The California Environmental Protection Agency determined there was no imminent threat to the ground water so the risk wasn’t high enough for the agency to fund the cleanup.
The property has been for sale for 15 years.
Genesis Engineering & Redevelopment — a Lodi firm hired by the Islamic Center of Manteca — circulated a letter in the neighborhood back in January describing plans for the property. They wanted to hear neighbors’ opinions, concerns or if they support the endeavor to purchase the property, clean it up and build a school.
The envisioned elementary school would serve about 200 students. It would consist of three buildings, playing fields, and a parking lot. The school would employ about 25 teachers and staff.
Whoever buys the property will have to pay for the cleanup.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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