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Endowment fund pays for 2 police officers
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Funding for two of Manteca’s 57 police officers could run out by the year 2040.

While that might sound ominous, they are the only two positions with long-term funding “in the bank” since the money is already on hand thanks to $8.4 million collected from developers. That guarantee ultimately was made possible by people buying new homes with the bulk of those being in Del Webb at Woodbridge.

The two officers’ pay and benefits are covered by a public safety endowment fund set up with growth fees that several developers agreed to pay in exchange for residential sewer allocation certainty. Unlike Measure M, there is no pre-determined rules for when officers are hired or any requirement that firefighters be hired using the funds.

Originally the concept was to use the interest from the $8.4 million amassed by mid-2007 to fund positions. Manteca hired two officers that year using the endowment funds. The money generated $385,093 in interest the initial year against $229,763 in expenses for hiring two officers for more than three quarters of the year.

But as the economy went into a tailspin interest rates dropped. This year expenses have jumped to $375,960 as both officers are now working year round. At the same time interest income dropped to $122,900. That created the need to tap $253,060 of principal.

Interest rates bounced back up slightly last month. City leaders used the higher yield rate of $150,000 a year - assuming interest will remain steady - plus plugged in $150,000 more  year in growth fees and compared that to expenses for the two officers to project that the endowment balance would drop to $6.9 million by mid-2015.

If rates don’t change and no additional money is collected for the endowment, Manteca will deplete that account by 2040.

Manteca is unique among cities in that it has three methods for ongoing funding for police officers. The general fund pays for the salaries and benefits of 44 officers, the Measure M half cent public safety tax approved by voters covers the costs of another 11 officers, and the endowment picks up the tab for two additional officers.

The endowment was set up as a way to supplement law enforcement without impacting the general fund.