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Alley fight at council on Tuesday
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Manteca’s alley fight — at least for non-downtown alleys — may come to an end Tuesday.

The Manteca City Council has to decide if they want to spend up to $275,000 to pave residential alleys that staff points out “are not needed for public purposes” as they “do not contain utilities beneath them, no do City operations, including solid waste collection, utilize these alleys.”

A previous City Council in 2008 indicated the city might eventually pave the alleys in question after they paved alleys in the Powers Tract. The 1950s era neighborhood sandwiched between Manteca High and Spreckels Parks has municipal utilities in all of their alleys plus solid waste trucks run down them except for one alley that is too narrow. In Powers Tract, the city only paved the travel lane and did not include work between the pavement and the fence line. As a result weeds and dust continue to be a problem that city ordinances require property owners to address.

A number of residents with dirt alleys have argued the city approved the design of their neighborhoods and therefore should maintain the alley complaining that they, and not the city, has to take care of the weeds. They also say the dirt alleys kick up dust that creates health issues.

Meanwhile, downtown merchants have been asking the city for the better part of two decades to fix alleys in central Manteca that get heavy public use. The worst sections between Yosemite Avenue and Center Street have severe uplifts and cracks that pedestrians and bicyclists alike have tripped on and injured themselves.

Staff noted funding for improving the residential alleys is not in the current budget. And since they aren’t eligible under state rules for gas tax revenue to be spent on them, the council — if they decide to proceed — will have to tap into Measure K funds set aside for street maintenance and improvements of the general fund.

Spending $250,000 would pay for 200,000 square feet of slurry seal for city streets. That represents 30 percent of the streets that were sealed this past summer primarily around Woodward Park and Sierra High.

There are two bid options for the City Council to consider when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center Street.

The $275,000 bid would place a driving lane through the alleys with no paving on the edges. The $260,000 bid would cover the full width and length of the alley with asphalt grindings. It would involve removing 4 inches of existing soil and replacing it with four inches of compacted asphalt grindings.

Should the council elect not to do either, they could direct staff to do the work in 2015 using a “more than adequate” supply of asphalt grindings from three planned projects that include South Main Street and East Yosemite Avenue to place 4 inches of asphalt grindings fence to fence in the alleys. Because the city would be recycling its own street asphalt and not acquiring it from other sources, staff said the cost would be significantly lower.

The alleys in question are in three areas of Manteca:

alleys in west central Manteca found behind Nevada Street, Edythe Street, and Virginia Street.

alleys in central Manteca found behind Lincoln Avenue, South Grant Avenue, Sherman Avenue, and North Grant Avenue.

ualleys in east central Manteca found behind North Powers Avenue, Sheridan Avenue, Marie Avenue, Hansen Avenue and Mylnar Avenue.