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Manteca ponders keeping lobbyist for $80,600 a year

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POSTED June 17, 2013 1:08 a.m.

By DENNIS WYATT

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Congress in 2012 was considering legislation that would have cost Manteca residents and businesses $17 million annually.

A bill was advancing that was adding many areas in the country that weren’t historically part of a floodplain including the entire City of Manteca to the mandatory federal flood insurance requirement. It was part of an effort to shore up National Flood Insurance Program reserves by having cities that are protected by federally certified dams or levees to have flood insurance made a universal requirement within their jurisdiction.

Manteca contacted Van Scoyoc Associates. The Washington, D.C., lobbying firm then went to work convincing members of Congress not to place all of Manteca in a flood plain designation that would have made flood insurance mandatory for homes and businesses. It also could have required all new construction to be placed on earthen berms above a projected flood line.

Acting on the City of Manteca’s behalf the firm worked with Congress members Dennis Cardoza (since retired), Jerry McNerney, and Jeff Denham to have the mandatory flood insurance provision successfully deleted from a House bill.

The Manteca City Council will decide Tuesday whether to spend $80,600 to retain the services of the lobbying firm for another year.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The lobbying firm is working with the city to secure federal funding for Austin Road interchange improvements and possible infrastructure in connection with the proposed Great Wolf Lodge. The lobbyists also have advocated city positions on proposed national regulations such as storm water that could have an adverse impact on the city financially. Van Scoyoc Associates is also credited by city staff for helping secure $150,000 in federal funds for the purchase of new self-contained breathing apparatus for the Manteca Fire Department.

The cost for the lobbyist is proposed to be divided equally — $20,150 each — from the transit fund, sewer fees, water fees and bonus bucks accounts. There would be no general fund money used.



To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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