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Land sale part of effort to trim public works costs annually by $650,000
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The sale of land adjacent to a water well site is netting $459,000 toward a $5.9 million plan to upgrade and expand Manteca’s municipal corporation yards straddling the 100 block of East Wetmore Street.

The project, which is being funded with non-general fund sources, is expected to reduce Manteca’s public works costs by $650,000 a year when completed due to operations for everything from streets to water being centralized. It is part of a multi-year effort by the city to reduce the cost of municipal government by shedding expenses, reorganizing, recovering costs in the form of fees where legal to do so, streamlining, and investing money to put in place significant efficiencies.

The 2.7 acres located adjacent to the million gallon water tank along Lathrop Road just east of Union Road was bought by Bill Filios and Arthur Nunes Jr.

The two partners are developers of the Woodbridge Shopping Center on the northeast corner of Union Road and Lathrop Road.

The center has a convenience store and gas station with a McDonald’s inside, CVS Drugs Store, and a Prime Shine Car Wash in 31,500 square feet of retail space that has already been built. An additional 21,600 square feet of retail is also planned.

The land purchased from the city will allow the developers to also build an apartment complex with at least 100 units. The apartment complex is being designed to buffer the Union Ranch East neighborhood from the commercial.

The $5.9 million corporation yard project is designed to meet municipal needs for the short- and mid-term needs including purchasing property that flanks both sides of East Wetmore Street on the east side of South Main Street. The tab also 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 for 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.

Annual 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, it would save $350,000 a year.

It would also eliminate a former South San Joaquin Irrigation District horse barn 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 – has to be worked on outside in the elements.

City staff expects savings to pay for the corporation yard centralization less than 10 years.

It also meets the council’s direction to put money collected for projects to work that can help stimulate the private sector as well as take advantage of lower construction costs in the economic downturn.

The Wetmore location also has the advantage of being centrally located to city growth.

The consolidation is also expected to improve customer service.