It will cost Manteca $1.58 million to acquire the 8.04 acres along South Main Street for a holistic approach for getting homeless back on their feet and able to support themselves.
Part of the land also would involve partnering with the private sector to build affordable housing.
The results of an appraisal as well as an evaluation that gave the site a clean bill of health concerning environmental issues was shared with the City Council on Tuesday.
The 8.04 acres was part of an online auction in February of 2000. The winning bid in that auction was $2,511,000. It was significantly beyond the appraisal. The deal with the winning bidder, however, fell through, giving Manteca the opportunity to purchase the property.
State law allows public agencies to buy surplus property before it is put up for possible auction if they pay the appraised market value.
Municipal staff is working on ways of securing the land and paying for site improvements and structures needed for all aspects of the homeless navigation without having to tap into the general fund that is used to provide day-to-day municipal services such as police and fire protection.
Councilman Gary Singh noted that could possibly be accomplished in a number of ways:
*Proceeds from the sale of land on the northeast corner of Airport Way and Woodward Avenue where an affordable housing project brokered with a non-profit in no longer viable. That has the potential of covering most or all of the land acquisition cost for the South Main property.
*The city’s roughly $406,000 share of the sale of 2.54 acres of former Manteca Redevelopment Agency property on the northwest corner of Daniels Street and Airport Way for $2.9 million.
*Manteca’s share of the future sale of three other RDA properties — the Qualex site where the homeless warming center is now located, the South Main site the city is seeking to buy, and a parcel on Airport Way north of Yosemite Avenue. Based on the appraised values, if they sell for that, and the 14 percent share the city is entitled to under the law that could come to more than $420,000.
Council members Tuesday talked about the possibility of asking the other agencies such as the county, Delta College, the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, and Manteca Unified School District among others that will split the sales proceeds of the former RDA properties to contribute their share to the homeless endeavor.
When the city asked agencies to do the same thing when they were trying to buy the Qualex building, they got the county, Delta College and smaller agencies to agree to the concept. That would have meant just under $450,000 of the appraised $1.5 million price.
Manteca Unified under the formula to split sales receipts between taxing agencies would receive 51 percent of the proceeds.
The Manteca Unified district declined to contribute its share toward a city homeless endeavor last time and will likely have the same answer this time around. That’s because under California law, all property-tax revenue local school districts receive is applied to state funding formulas for paying for classroom instruction and related support services each year.
Any money the school district receives from the RDA sale simply reduces what the state will fund by the same amount resulting in a net zero impact. That means if the district contributes the money — which could be as much as $1.35 million for the Qualex and South Main properties — it would essentially be taking it out of its general fund.
It would reduce money for classroom instruction and support services by $1.35 million which could trigger the need for cutbacks and/or layoffs to cover.
The city is also applying for state funds specifically designated to provide homeless to run an emergency shelter at the Qualex site for 12 months. The amount the city is eligible to ask for could cover the nearly $360,000 it will take to run the current operation for a year.
The initial six-month contract for Turlock Gospel Mission to run the emergency shelter from April 1 through Sept. 30 is $180,000. The money is coming from the general fund reserve.
The concept is to create a holistic navigation center for the homeless on the backside of the property with access from Carnegie Court.
It would include transitional housing, emergency shelter, and services needed to get the homeless off the street and in a position to be self-supporting as well as secure housing.
By using “raw land” the city can avoid demolition costs and potential land remediation. They also can put in place fencing and other protocols that would secure the site in such a manner there would be minimal issues raised for adjoining property owners.
The affordable housing — rent subsidized housing that could be similar to the Juniper Apartments along Atherton Drive east of Van Ryn Road — would be along South Main Street. As such it would serve as a buffer for neighborhoods across South Main Street.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com