LATHROP – When voters in 2012 voted to approve a one-cent sales tax measure for community benefit and enhanced public safety offerings, the fruit of that tax became almost immediately visible.
The Lathrop Manteca Fire District was able to maintain firefighter positions that were initially funded through a grant. Lathrop Police Services were able to fill sworn positions that were either eliminated or condensed when the council slashed budgets to deal with a massive shortfall.
And now the other items that the measure intended to assist with are now taking shape.
When the council met earlier this month to discuss community projects that are either in the planning stages or under construction, nearly all of them were funded by Measure C.
The list is long.
According to a presentation made by Lathrop Public Works Director Zach Johnson, the one-time wish list of community improvements are now becoming reality and more and more of the items that are listed are being tackled to improve the overall quality of life for Lathrop residents.
Upgrades and enhancements include:
uThe removal of existing bark at three of Lathrop’s major parks and the replacement with a rubberized play surface intend to make the activities conducted within safer. Playground equipment was also replaced or repaired in some instances. The end design wasn’t just practical, but fun as well – the Valverde Park redesign includes the addition of sharks in the ground surface to make it appear that children are galloping through shark-infested waters.
uA restroom at the River Dog Park that was been warmly received by residents and those who utilize the facility.
uThe resurfacing of existing playground basketball courts and tennis courts to improve the usability and renovate surfacing that had become worn and weathered after long-term use.
uAn electronic marquee at the Lathrop Senior Center that will allow for advertising of upcoming events, and a sheltered BBQ area next to the complex that will replace the existing facility that had bricks that had cracked or deteriorated over an extended period of time.
The list also includes the addition of solar lighting at Woodfield and Thomsen Parks.
Per the direction of the council, any project funded with Measure C funding will include a special logo on the signage to let the community know what the money collected through the tax is being used for. Because Measure C was a general tax and not a special tax – like the public safety tax that Manteca enacted to pay for more police officers and firefighters and equipment to outfit them – the money collected can be more freely utilized by planners and city staff.
The disbursement of Measure C funds in Lathrop is overseen by an independent panel of residents that were appointed by the Lathrop City Council.