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Budget calls for funding of pressing needs
pg 27 golf course
Manteca will spend $455,000 on improvements to the municipal course and clubhouse in the fiscal year starting July 1. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The municipal spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $455,000 for pressing repairs to the Manteca Golf Course and clubhouse.
u$230,000 for the fourth and final phase of new concrete  golf cart path for tee to green on holes 13 through 18 to protect turf and keep it healthy as well as provide suitable traction for carts during all weather conditions.
u$125,000 for upgrading the clubhouse elevator that has repeated operational problems forcing the elderly and handicapped at times to use the stairways as the only way to access the second floor. The project also will make the elevator compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
u$100,000 for restoring two exterior clubhouse stairways. Due to 25 years of use and exposure to the elements, the stairways have deteriorated. Decaying wood prompted the city to close the southern stairway due to safety concerns.
The three endeavors are outlined in the city’s proposed capital improvement projects that are part of the overall municipal budget of $132.3 million for 2017-2018. The general fund that covers day-to-day operations such as police, fire, parks, and streets as well as general government is pegged at $37.3 million for the coming fiscal year.
Of the $455,000, some $44,000 was set aside in the current budget for the golf cart paths. The balance of the $411,000 needed for the three projects is coming from new funds budgeted for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The funds are not coming from green fees that — according to city accounting — are not covering the complete operation and maintenance cost of the course.
The long held belief  that the golf course is self–funded or should be  self-funded was forged in the bitter acrimony of the late 1980s over whether the city was being prudent in building the two-story clubhouse that is arguably the largest and most elaborate of any municipally owned course in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
In recent years elected officials have been backing off the narrative used by previous councils that the golf course should pay its own way. After years of insisting it should or was operating as an enterprise fund like wastewater, solid waste, and water where user fees cover maintenance and operations as well as capital improvements, no one at city hall or elected leaders are referencing the account as an enterprise fund any longer
Citywide, Manteca has earmarked $1,221,000 of new capital improvement money for parks in the upcoming budget. A third of that is going to the golf course. The biggest items for the remaining $810,000 include $500,000 for the Northgate Park picnic area renovation, $140,000 for the Union Road tennis court surface and crack repair and $50,000 for playground safety surfacing replacement. The rest is $120,000 for a 16-foot large turf wing mower.
The city set aside $3,210,150 in the current budget. It includes $2 million for community park improvements, $650,000 for the Northgate Park picnic project, $100,000 for playground improvements, $105,000 for Civic Center turf removal, and the rest for maintenance and operation equipment. Most of that money has not been spent.
The overall Northgate Park project comes in at $1,150,000. It will include installation of a new shade structure, concrete flooring, restroom upgrades, and general improvements.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email