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One free rental for non-profits?

Council setting transit center community room rents

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One free rental for non-profits?

The Manteca Transit Center is being dedicated Tuesday at noon.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED August 5, 2013 1:19 a.m.

Manteca is dedicating more than just a transit center Tuesday.

The city is opening a meeting facility that is in direct competition with two privately operated event facilities, the Manteca Senior Center, as well as the FESM and MRPS halls.

The City Council on Tuesday — just four hours after they dedicate the $6 million transit center at noon — will meet to consider a rental policy for the community room at the facility located at South Main Street and Moffat Boulevard. The council is meeting at 4 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., instead of its usual time due to National Night Out activities.

Depending upon which facility you compare the proposed transit center community room rates with, the city will either cost slightly more or slightly less. But there is one area that no one else will be able to compete with the city: Non-profits.

The proposed policy allows for one free rental per calendar year for Manteca-based non-profit organizations. After that, Manteca-based non-profits would be able to rent the entire facility Friday through Sunday for a full day for $300. Out-of-town non-profits could secure the entire community room for $450 for a full day. Non-profits are required to have 501(c)3 status.

Manteca non-profits could also rent just the large community room for a full day for $250 or the small community room for $200. There are also hourly rates proposed for weekdays and weekends. Use of the kitchen is $100 additional while having chairs and tables set up is an additional $75.

The community room has capacity for 452 people seated without tables with that space being able to break down into two smaller rooms — one handling 318 and the other 134. There is built-in audio visual equipment and power-controlled shades that allow for effective darkening of the room. In addition there are big flat TV screens installed around the room.

The room has well-designed acoustics accomplished by metal ceiling sound panels designed to look like wood that have hundreds of tiny holes and baffling behind that.

No detail was too small to overlook  There are numerous floor outlets throughout making the space ideal for trade shows and such to separate sink and counter areas for dividing the room into two.

The space floors into an outdoor plaza that was designed with landscaping and trellises that ultimately will provide large shade canopies thanks to the selection of Morning Glory Maples that also have eclectic outlets at the base for plugging in decorative lights. There are numerous outlets elsewhere on the plaza available to support the use of the space.

There is a fully-equipped commercial kitchen allowing food service for everything from meetings, weddings, and parties to fundraisers.

Manteca residents may rent the entire facility on weekend for events such as wedding receptions for $1,000 for a full day. The non-resident rate is proposed for $1,200.

The last meeting or event facility to open in Manteca on a large enough scale to handle medium to large gatherings was the privately-owned Emory about five years ago.

One of the needs noted in the 1998 Vision 2020 Task Force report cobbled together by 25 citizens was the need for more community meeting facilities. The same report also stressed the need for a transit center and a downtown focal point.

The transit center was designed to address all three items.

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