The nearly half century old city-owned Manteca Industrial Park sign on the northeast corner of South Main Street and Industrial Park Drive has seen better days.
Letters are missing. The lights have been gone for years if not decades. The low profile sign that is attached to a rectangle concrete pyramid that has its apex off to the right side doesn’t grab anyone’s attention.
Mayor Ben Cantu believes it is time to change that. And the rest of the council concurred after Cantu brought it up during Tuesday’s council meeting.
The council wants the sign on land owned by the city replaced with a “welcome to Manteca” style sign that dovetails into the design of dozens of wayfinding signs that will be placed around the city in the coming months. Councilman Gary Singh indicated he’d like to see welcome signs at other entrances to the city as well such as Yosemite Avenue off of Highway 99 and possibly other locations.
The council will review possible sign designs and locations at a future meeting.
The monument-style sign was put in place in the late 1970s when the council joined forces with the private sector and created a taxing authority that paid for installation of infrastructure to get the Manteca Industrial Park at South Main Street and the 120 Bypass off the ground.
Once the infrastructure was in place for what was Manteca’s first industrial park, the city quickly snagged a number of firms including Dana Corp. (where BR Funsten is today), Indy Electronics, Uniphase (the early leader in retail scanning equipment), the Carl’s Jr. distribution center and Kodak’s Qualex division.
A plaque on the side lists the main players in making the industrial park possible including the late John McFall who was a Manteca native and former councilman who was the 4th District Congressional representative at the time and the third most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives as the majority whip.
The industrial park was dedicated in July 1975.
Mark Oliver was the mayor at the time while William Phillips was vice mayor. Council members were H.C. Buchanan, Charles Shafer, and Jack Snyder.
The Manteca Industrial Development Corporation consisted of John Iribarren as president, Clyde Van Essen as vice president, Robert Behrens as treasurer, as well as H.C. Buchanan and Theodore Poulos as members.
Richard Jones was the city manager at the time.
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