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Station answers the need

New station enhances safety for 3,000 households

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Station answers the need

Mayor Willie Weatherford speaks during Tuesday’s groundbreaking. Del Webb at Woodbridge homes can be seen in the background.


POSTED October 31, 2012 12:43 a.m.

Del Webb at Woodbridge was a major shot in the arm for Manteca’s housing market.

But its location, tucked in a corner along Lathrop and Union Roads, made the golden five-minute response time – the window in which permanent muscle loss to the heart and possible brain damage can be prevented – hard for Manteca fire crews to achieve.

Not for long.

Manteca dignitaries and elected officials, as well as more than 100 residents, showed up Tuesday morning to witness the groundbreaking of Manteca’s fourth fire station on Lathrop Road just west of where it intersects with Union.  Expected to be completed in time for the 9/11 observance next year, the station will serve more than 3,000 homes in Manteca’s northwest quadrant including the neighboring Del Webb community as well as Chadwick Square – the first major housing tract constructed in that section of town.

But it’s not just residential properties that are going to benefit from the fire coverage.

The CenterPoint logistics center – which could create 600 permanent jobs when it opens next to the Union Pacific Railroad truck-to-rail center – will be the largest industrial complex in the immediate area and will add another dimension for firefighters to protect.

“The biggest benefit of this station will be being able to provide the five-minute response window to 3,000 homes in the community – being able to provide that medical service to those families of our community,” said Fire Chief Kirk Waters. “We have a huge senior community here in this area, and providing this is something that is needed.

“But we’re also going to have a large industrial-commercial project here with CenterPoint that is going to provide revenue and jobs and we need to be able to protect that investment. I give kudos to the Mayor and Council for making this station a priority – for realizing what it’ll bring to the community.”

And finally seeing the first shovels in the ground made some of the project’s biggest champions smile. 

City Manager Karen McLaughlin said that the station will not only provide the critical five-minute window for the 3,000 homeowners, but will provide it in an area with a large senior population – a group that has championed the construction from the start.

“They’re so excited to see this come to fruition,” McLaughlin said. “We had Bill Barnhardt – the ‘Mayor of Woodbridge’ – come to the meetings to levee support and make sure that the station blended in with the neighborhood.

“The best part of this is that development is paying its own way here – this is being funded by a fire facility fee. Some of the money is being loaned by the public safety fund but it will be paid back as development occurs. And much like the animal shelter and the corporation yard, in this economy we’re getting the most for our money on the bids that are coming in.”

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