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Contamination wont stop new animal shelter
This is what Manteca’s new animal shelter on the northeast corner of South Main Street and Wetmore Street will look like when it is completed by late summer. It is being built with the exclusive use of growth fees. - photo by Rendering courtesy LDA Partners
Manteca taxpayers won’t get saddled with any potential clean-up costs related to ground water contamination involving part of the land where the new animal shelter is being built.

The City Council Tuesday night opted to go with a lease-purchase transaction for the property that saddles Wetmore Street on the east side of South Main Street. The move was taken after the discovery of contaminated ground water on part of the land near the railroad tracks where a Standard Oil distributor was once located.

“The contamination is under part of the ground that we have no plans to build on,” noted City Manager Steve Pinkerton.

That means if it can’t be cleaned up the property owner will create a separate parcel that they would retain ownership while the rest of the land where the animal shelter will stand will actually be sold to the city.

Law requires whoever owns the property to be responsible for clean-up.

A similar problem occurred years ago at the former Diamond Oaks lumber yard where Don’s Mobile Glass is now located just across the tracks from the animal shelter site. In that case, it cost less than $30,000 to clean up the contamination.

Assistant City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted the animal shelter is expected to break ground within the next three months at the high profile location on the northeast corner of South Main Street and Wetmore Street.

The new shelter will have 52 kennels completely enclosed inside in a separate room to control diseases, reduce noise, and provide better security. There will be separate rooms for cats as well as a lobby with two animal adoption offices and space for staff. Overall, the building is just over 6,000 square feet.

The main building will be constructed using concrete masonry and wood frame. The concrete masonry is primarily around the animal holding areas for sound isolation and ease of wash down. The administration and adoption areas are primarily wood framed. Exterior materials are concrete masonry, metal siding, and cement board siding.  All were chosen because they are highly durable and easily maintained.  

The animal shelter’s $2.1 million price tag is being covered by growth fees collected for government facilities. It is the first phase of an expansion of the municipal public works yard straddling Wetmore Street in the Manteca Industrial Park.

It will cost Manteca $5.9 million to meet municipal corporation yard needs for the short- and mid-term needs including the purchase of property that flanks both sides of East Wetmore Street on the east side of South Main Street. The tab includes a new vehicle maintenance shop, new operations center, site work, warehouse, water shop, and building maintenance yard. Current users through enterprise accounts as well as the sale of surplus property would pay for $2.7 million including $600,000 from water, $500,000 from solid waste, $100,000 from sewer fund, and the balance from property sales. The rest - $3.2 million – will come from fees already collected from growth for government facilities.

Currently public works maintenance functions are spread between five locations including the water department that has some of its operations at the Powers Avenue fire station.

Annual general fund savings could top $590,000 a year. None of the construction costs will impact the general fund.

Some of the savings would come from eliminating a vacant superintendent position and one vacant administrative support position and reduce growth in future administrative staff as the move would eliminate duplicate functions due to the far-flung corporation yard system. That will save $250,000 a year.

Reduced facility costs such as electricity, Internet, alarms copiers, and printers would save $20,000 a year.

Centralized purchasing and warehousing, pooling common equipment, and reducing the time employees have to drive around Manteca to pick up equipment and then return it would save $350,000 a year.

It is part of Manteca’s efforts to find ways to reduce general fund expenses in order to free up money for other services such as possibly restoring police officers in the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2011.