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Stockton, SJ County join flood work effort
Levees top copy
Some of the levees protecting Lathrop. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The race to make sure development in the South County continues as a united front.
On Monday the Lathrop City Council voted to approve a memorandum of understanding with the cities of Manteca and Stockton and the County of San Joaquin to unify in their position towards retrofitting the levees that protect the communities from a 200-year-flood of the San Joaquin River throughout Reclamation District 17.
While Manteca and Lathrop have long partnered together in funding studies necessary to secure the findings of “adequate progress” that will allow development with the 200-year-flood plain – of which all of Lathrop, on both sides of Interstate 5, is located – to continue, the challenge has been getting both Stockton and San Joaquin County to come on board because their interests in developing the areas that are affected aren’t nearly as critical as they are to the communities in the South County.
The document is the first step in formalizing the relationship between the four entities as they strive to meet a state-mandated deadline that will require an overhaul of the existing levee system that could end up costing as much as $170 million.
So far Lathrop, Manteca and development interests that will be adversely affected if development were to cease in the area have funded the majority of the studies necessary to submit for the adequate progress findings – which, according to City Manager Steve Salvatore, will be before the council during the second meeting in June so it’s submitted in time before the July deadline.
Because all of Lathrop sits within the 200-yeear flood plain, development would have to stop until the government agencies overseeing the implementation of Senate Bill 5 give their approve to the plan that will then move the applicants towards securing the funding necessary to make the repairs.
While the city has always pushed towards transportation projects when visiting Washington D.C. for the San Joaquin Council of Government’s annual One Voice trip, part of what Salvatore did when he was back east representing the city focused on SB5 and what can be done to help position the city to navigate the process that will continue for several years.
Over $3 million has been spent to date on the project to complete the engineering work required to submit the application to the State of California for consideration.