Bonus bucks — the money paid by developers to assure sewer capacity certainty over multiple years — is being tapped to support Manteca’s efforts to address homeless issues.
The budget adopted Tuesday by the Manteca City Council for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $25,000 to support community resource officer (CRO) efforts dealing with the homeless.
In the past year when CRO Mike Kelly has been able to broker an agreement for families from out of the area or state to take a homeless relative into their homes and off Manteca streets, he has had to scramble to find a non-profit, church or even a business willing to cover the cost of a bus or airline ticket.
Mayor Steve DeBrum said the $25,000 fund could be tapped for such purposes. But before any money is spent, he’d like to see Police Chief Jodie Estarziau and Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd come up with guidelines of how the money could be used.
The mayor said one example might be to provide housing for several days for displaced fire victims augmenting other resources such as the Red Cross in a bid to prevent them from becoming homeless while looking for replacement housing.
The bonus bucks come with no restrictions on how they can be spent. And since they are not a tax or a fee they can be used on things that might be legally construed as a gift of public money if they help someone with temporary housing or to travel to relatives willing to take them in off the streets.
The budget also calls for $125,000 in bonus bucks to repair and modernize the elevator at the golf course clubhouse as well as $60,000 to upgrade the Spreckels Park BMX track. Bonus bucks also will provide funding for the emergency operations center, a replacement fire engine, and the library roof replacement.
Anderson 209 will use the $60,000 for a full rebuild of the existing city-owned BMX track at Spreckels Avenue and Moffat Boulevard.
It will include replacement of dirt corners with asphalted corners as well as a top coat of material sprayed over the dirt to prevent the track from eroding.
The upgrade will also change jump and track configurations to keep up with current trends.
There have been no major renovations at the track since it opened seven years ago.
It also was noted that the track had been eroded by water backing up in the storm retention basin it sits in during this year’s near record rainfall.
While builders are obligated to pay bonus bucks under development agreements they agreed to years ago when they build homes, most developers are no longer offering to pay bonus bucks on new projects. The big exception is Atherton Homes.
Atherton Homes agreed to pay $7,500 for each of the 356 homes the firm will build in Woodward Park I and Woodward Park II. Work has started on the new neighborhood along Pillsbury Road south of Woodward Avenue in southeast Manteca.
When completed, the Woodward Park I and II neighborhoods will have paid the City of Manteca $2,670,000 in bonus bucks.
It was $14 million in bonus bucks that kept the city afloat from 2002 through 2011 when Manteca was failing to run day-to-day government by not spending more money in a given year than they were taking in.
Since 2012, Manteca has been operating without a structured deficit meaning the cost of general services in a given year is covered and then some by revenue received.
The bonus bucks were ballyhooed in 1999 when they were adopted as a way to have growth provide amenities for all of Manteca to share. And they did to a degree. They paid to cover about 60 percent of the Union Road fire station’s cost, built the skate park, paid to install soccer lights at Woodward Park, and place traffic signals along the Tidewater Bikeway among other things.
budget at $132M
Manteca’s new general fund budget is at $39.5 million. That is 11.6 percent more than the current fiscal year.
The overall city budget that includes projects funded by growth fees, remaining redevelopment agency funds, state and federal grants, plus landscape maintenance districts as well as the water, sewer and solid waste operations is pegged at $132,365,080 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The overall budget included $21,807,480 in spending for capital improvement projects.
The budget includes:
An additional police officer.
$25,000 for the Manteca Mural Society’s veterans’ mural project.
Increases to employee compensation and benefits including a 2 percent increase on Jan. 1, 2018 and the 2 percent reopener as negotiated in the July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019 bargaining agreements.
Increased contributions to the California Public Employees Retirement System.
Transitioning three police officers from the Public Safety Endowment Fund that is rapidly being depleted to the general fund.
The addition of one parks planning and project supervisor.
$15,000 for the city’s centennial celebration including keys to the city.
$250,000 for the continued subsidy of the recreation fund.
$48,000 for grant writing services.
$62,500 for lobbying efforts.
$20,000 for leadership training for the City Council and new city manager.
Funding for the six firefighters hired by a federal grant that expires Dec. 31, 2017 will be partially picked up by the public safety endowment fund that is projected to have a remaining balance of $2.1 million on June 30. Four of the positions will be covered by the endowment fund. The other two firefighters will be funded through the half cent sales tax as there are two vacant positions that haven’t been filled. The end result will be two less firefighters but no current firefighter would lose their job.
Development service fees will allow the hiring of a plans examiner II and an assistant engineer.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org