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City may cover utility fees for Boys & Girls
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Excess interest in the municipal enterprise accounts involving water, sewer, and solid waste may be used to cover city utility fees for the Manteca Boys & Girls Club.

 The proposal was an outgrowth of a request by Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Charlie Halford to have the city waive the fees as part of the lease agreement between the club and the city. The utility costs came to $8,273 last year.

The club leased city-owned property at 545 W. Alameda St., on May 18, 1981 as part of a 50-year agreement with the club paying a nominal $2 free a year. There is a 50-year option to renew at the end of the initial lease period. Private donations built the club and pay for its operations. If the club ceases to operate, the building and furnishings revert to the city.

Assistant City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted in a report to the council that it is against state law to waive enterprise charges and add them to the cost of other taxpayers. She noted it has been the city’s policy to fund items such as senior citizens discount for garbage servcie and such from excess interest on the enterprise accounts.

McLaughlin noted that based on current information there is sufficient interest earnings to allow the modification of the lease.

In a letter to the council, Halford noted that the city and club have worked on hosting several community events at the club.

“The club while still operating is continuing to struggle to raise funds for operation of the club in the current economic climate,” Halford stated in a letter. “We have not filled positions in order to stay within our budget and reduced our costs as much as possible. Some of our long-time supporters have not been able to contribute this year as a result of the continuing downturn of the economy. The telethon, while it raised approximately $100,000, did not meet our goal. We are working on some other funding sources that may help bridge the gap.”

The club had targeted $120,000 as its telethon goal. Halford has also agreed to only take half of his salary.

The club serves more than 1,400 youth a year.