Good luck opening an Internet café in downtown Manteca.
That’s because frustrated merchants for years have bene trying to get broadband access to make it easier to do business in the Internet Age.
Efforts to get Comcast to extend broadband into the heart of Manteca has resulted in those inquiring being told by the firm’s representatives that it would be no problem as long as someone ponies up more than $100,000 to extend the infrastructure.
It’s kind of tough to create a 21st century destination in downtown Manteca when existing merchants and professional services — as well as potential future businesses — can’t access tools needed to compete in today’s world.
Half-hearted lobbying efforts have been made by city officials on downtown’s behalf including when Comcast wanted to break their franchise contract requirement and close a customer service center in Manteca earlier than they agreed to.
Whether working to get downtown brought up to speed in terms of communications that are essential to businesses today is the responsibility of the city to any degree, it is no less important than having alleys that people aren’t tripping over and bicyclists taking a spill while using them.
The city, after years of promising to do so, is getting ready to improve some of the alleys and parking areas.
Given the snail’s pace on getting something done that is arguably the responsibility of the city — safe public passageways — downtown shouldn’t expect any help from the city in making sure that there are even the basics in place to help attract more investment.
Broadband is just as essential as water and sewer service in todays’ world for many businesses to thrive.
VA clinic will
The 200-year floodplain won’t stop the long-awaited Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic being funded by Congress in French Camp near San Joaquin General Hospital from being built.
That’s because Congressman Jeff Denham says the VA is going to build it on “stilts” to raise it above the floodplain. While it could literally be built on “stilts” the most likely scenarios are to raise the land it sits on to take it above the 200-year floodplain mark or put a parking garage on the first level.
The congressman thought it was a bit ironic given that other vital government facilities such as the hospital as well as the sheriff’s department and county jail would remain in the floodplain.
They ultimately could be protected by a $168 million investment the cities of Lathrop and Manteca are taking to enhance levees. The two cities along with parts of San Joaquin County and Stockton are within the same 200-year floodplain yet the latter two jurisdictions haven’t been actively working with Manteca-Lathrop nor have their agreed to help pay for the heightened protection.
The state has mandated local jurisdictions identify 200-year floodplains and then take steps to assure they have protection against such an event. They must make progress toward the solution and putting in place a funding mechanism or development will be stopped on July 1. The state has given local governments until 2022 to actually get improved levees in place.
The 158,000-square-foot Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) and Community Living Center (CLC) will be built on a 52-acre parcel.
The new facilities will be located along Interstate 5, adjacent to the San Joaquin General Hospital. The new CBOC will significantly expand clinical services offered in the Central Valley, including Audiology and Speech Pathology, Eye Clinic services, Prosthetics, Dental, Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Services (PM&R), Pharmacy, Blood Draw, Radiology, Dermatology, Podiatry and Cardiology. The CBOC will feature state-of-the-art training and patient education spaces to promote group classes and collaboration. All clinical areas will be wired to support expansive telehealth programs.
The project is costing $139 million.