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Growth prompts need for more Lathrop facilities
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It didn’t take long for Lathrop’s founders to realize that development needs to pay its own way.

But as the city primed for a growth explosion – fueled by the planned 10,800-home River Islands at Lathrop that’s the largest residential housing projects in the Northern San Joaquin Valley – prepares itself for what is coming next, not every rooftop is covering the cost of the city services needed to keep up with the growing community.

In an annual report that outlined the city’s capital facility fee schedule that was approved by the Lathrop City Council this month, essential services like police protection will need new facilities in order to keep up with the rising demand once projects like River Islands reaches build out.

The contract that the city has with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, the report says, will eventually leave a department complex that is too small to house a force that can keep the 1.5-to-1,000 officer-to-resident ratio that the council has set as a benchmark.

And it won’t just be the police that need more room.

Over at the city’s corporation yard employees have already outgrown the current 2.5-acre facility and there is no more room for any more staffers let alone the vehicles they need to complete their job every day.

The amount collected for each designated fee varies depending on the location of the residence and the specific reason that it is being collected – sewer upgrades, community services, storm drain maintenance. The monies that are accumulated then provide the city’s finance department with the opportunity to shuffle depending on the severity of need at that specific time.

The capital facility fee report, per the State of California, needs to be adopted every fiscal year. The information for every individual fund, which varies significantly, is available is available through the finance department at Lathrop City Hall.

Lathrop started collecting the fees in 1990 – the same year that the city was incorporated – in order to raise the seed money necessary to fund early municipal projects.

Councilman Paul Akinjo was the only one that inquired about specifics on the item when he questioned about how money was being shuffled around an item that hadn’t even technically been built yet – a soccer complex that had been added to the list of capital improvement projects but never actually funded through a city budget.