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Downtown (almost) going to the dogs
High profile animal shelter on South Main
Volunteer Robin Espinosa prepares to walk a dog at the existing animal shelter. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Manteca’s animal shelter is about to go downtown - almost.

The City Council on Tuesday is being asked to give the go ahead to a plan to build a new animal shelter facing South Main Street immediately south of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks as the first phase of the corporation consolidation and expansion effort that ultimately is projected to save the general fund $590,000 a year.
It will be more than double the existing facility on Wetmore Street that will be razed to make room for other city public works functions.

Pedestrians and drivers along South Main Street will be able to view the outdoor kennels that will house lost and/or adoptable animals as they enter downtown Manteca.

By locating it on Main Street, Manteca will become the only city in the Northern San Joaquin Valley with a highly visible animal shelter on a major municipal thoroughfare near the heart of the city.

The city bought the former gypsum board and lumber yard as part of its expansion plans for the corporation yard along with the used car lot location on the southeast corner of Wetmore and South Main streets.

The animal shelter, expected to be completed by late summer of 2011, is being designed and built by Diede Construction of Woodbridge.

The $2.1 million cost is being covered by fees paid by growth into the government building facilities fund.

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 copies, 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 would also eliminate a former South San Joaquin Irrigation District structure being used for vehicle maintenance that is pushing 90 years old. Besides having inadequate heating and cooling, the city’s garbage truck fleet – worth millions – have to be worked on outside in the elements.

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.