Addressing two downtown concerns — missing trees that were planted as part of a nearly $3 million redevelopment project and dirty sidewalk/crosswalk pavers — are on the radar of municipal staff.
Councilman Richard Silverman in speaking with staff has indicated the city is actively working on solutions. The solutions aren’t as straightforward as they might seem. Plus, as Silverman aptly points out Manteca’s “needs are many and budgets are limited.”
Back 15 or so years ago when the downtown face lift that included the Tidewater-style features such as street lights was moving forward, the city arborist at the time selected trees that turned out not to be the optimum choices for specific locations.
The trees that were selected were considered better than the ones they replaced in the early 2000s as most were stunted and susceptible to pear blight.
Excessive heat due to the setting where a number of the trees are planted is stressing them and making them more susceptible to disease. At the same time the roots of the trees have choked off irrigation lines compounding the problems.
Parks and Recreation staff under the direction of Kevin Fant explored options and various solutions a month ago. They came up with a series of steps needed for the long term to address the tree issues without breaking the proverbial bank while utilizing Manteca’s limited parks maintenance staff.
The decision was made to start working on irrigation lines valve by valve and repairing irrigation lines first and then replant missing trees as well as those that have become problematic.
Given crews need to handle other work as well the goal is to have the first tree re-plantings occur later this summer and to finish the effort in the fall. A phasing plan is now being put together.
Sprucing up the pavers in the crosswalks and sidewalks — that have not been cleaned since they were installed 15 years ago — is also posing a challenge.
Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted in order to power wash the pavers electricity and water are needed. He noted the city cannot use regular city tap water as it is against municipal water conservation rules. That means the city would need a truck with a tank for reclaimed water to be used. Houghton indicated the city would probably need to contract the job out and it could be expensive.
He pointed out power washing can’t be done during the day due to traffic and the impact on businesses which means it would need be a night time job. A truck mounted generator would likely be needed to provide electricity.
No action plan is being developed yet as staff is still looking into how best to address the concern of the dingy and dirty pavers.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org