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$13.4M downtown investment
Three municipal facilities being built
The $13.4 million in investment includes a 1) new animal shelter, 2) a transit station, and 3) a new vehicle maintenance facility. The existing animal shelter 4) will eventually be removed for additional corporation yard expansion. - photo by RYAN BALBUENA
Manteca is about to make a $13.4 million investment in downtown.

And when work is done what were once an aging ice house, an old lumber yard, and a used car lot will be transformed into a transit station, animal shelter, and a municipal vehicle maintenance facility.

All three will be visible from South Main Street with the animal shelter enjoying the highest visibility on the northeast corner of South Main and Wetmore streets.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said in today’s economic climate “it is really unusual” for a city Manteca’s size to undertake $13.4 million worth of municipal facility construction without any federal assistance.

The money is coming from various sources and can’t be used to underwrite general fund expenses such as police and fire protection. The $6.6 million transit station on Moffat is being financed using Measure K sales tax receipts. The $2.1 million animal shelter and the $4.7  million vehicle maintenance facility being built on the southeast corner of South Main and Wetmore are being paid for with a combination of fees placed on growth as well as utility service fees. The projects will not trigger any utility rate increase as the money has been set aside over the years for the construction.

Actually, when completed the corporation yard expansion and makeover is projected to help the general fund start saving $600,000 a year beginning in 2014 in terms of reduced labor costs and efficiencies that come with centralized operations. Currently a number of public works operations are scattered at various locations throughout Manteca.

The project is unique for a number of reasons:

•No other jurisdiction in the Northern San Joaquin Valley will have an animal shelter as visible as Manteca’s since it is being located on what is one of Manteca’s four busiest streets in what is essentially the downtown area.

•The corporation yard will remain almost at the heart of the city reducing travel time for work crews to and from neighborhoods. Most cities when they expand move the corporation yard to the edge of development. In Manteca’s case, the RDA owns adjoining land that could ultimately be used for another expansion down the road.

•The transit station will be located on a separated bike path - the Tidewater - that makes it possible to bicycle from various neighborhoods to catch Regional Transit buses.

The animal shelter is expected to be completed first with work targeted to wrap-up by fall. The new shelter will have 52 kennels completely enclosed inside in a separate room to control diseases, reduce noise, and provide better security. There will be separate rooms for cats as well as a lobby with two animal adoption offices and space for staff. Overall, the building is just over 6,000 square feet.

The transit station is projected to go to bid by late spring. The 7,000-square-foot station will be accompanied by a 100-space parking lot on 3.1 acres.

The two-story building will include space for transit staff that encompasses dispatching functions, ticket and pass sales, offices for city and transit services contractor staff, a lobby area, a break room for drivers, and a conference room that will be available for public use. The plan also calls for allowing on-street parking along Moffat.

The vehicle maintenance building could start by end of this year or early 2012.

It is replacing an aging metal structure where in the winter mechanics are forced to work on $300,000 fire engines and $250,000 garage trucks partially in the elements.

The city acquired the building from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District that had used it before World War II as a maintenance building. Prior to that, the metal building is believed by city officials to have been used as a horse barn.