Manteca’s most cost efficient expenditure of tax dollars is arguably $1,000 going to the Anderson 209 BMX Race team.
The City Council last week approved a use and maintenance agreement with Anderson 209 BMX Race Team for the Spreckels Recreation BMX Track through Nov. 6, 2013.
The organization is not only maintaining the track but is making sure the gates are unlocked and locked on a regular basis so the general public can use the track when they are not races scheduled. The $1,000 is in recognition of the cost savings the city is incurring by not having to maintain the track or open and lock the gates. The city maintains the grassy area outside of the gates of the track.
The city at one point estimated it would cost $17,000 a year to maintain the track. Anderson 209 BMX Race team does it all with volunteer manpower.
Anderson 209 BMX also provides insurance coverage for the track the day before, the day of, and the day after they stage organized races.
“It’s a win, win situation,” noted City Manager Karen McLaughlin of the facility use agreement for the track that opened in 2010.
Based on conventional wisdom, the Manteca BMX track should never have been built.
Most cities have declined to get involved in such projects due to liability considerations. The city also didn’t have the funding to maintain a new complex due to the retraction in municipal revenues.
The fact the park got built at all isn’t the only unusual thing about the Manteca facility. Most BMX parks are either placed on the edge of cities or in locations that are remote such as Rainbow Fields in Modesto. The Manteca BMX track is near the intersection of three major bike paths – Spreckels Park, the connection to Atherton Drive and the Tidewater – as well as being near neighborhoods and retail.
AKF Development constructed the primary improvements and dedicated the land valued at $1 million to the city.
The construction done under the auspices of AKF Development - the developers of Spreckels Park - came to under $850,000. The city reimbursed AKF $543,000 toward the improvement costs and accepted dedication and maintenance of the improved land as a city park.
Anderson 209 BMX is the group that led efforts to design the facility. They also raised money to make final improvements to the track.
The original deal simply called for the Spreckels Park developers to build a storm retention basin, landscape it with grass and maintain it.