Six American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts have been awarded $2,593,919 to address facility needs ranging from replacing roofs to making buddings compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized the expenditure from the federal American Rescue Act funds that the county was awarded during the pandemic.
*Manteca American Legion Post 249 will receive $789,950.
*Tracy American Legion Post 172 will receive $603,247.
*Ripon American Legion Post 190 will receive $329,000.
*Manteca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6311 will receive $247,687
*Ripon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1051 will receive $378,000.
*Stockton American Legion Post 16 will receive $246,035.
““Many (veteran service organizations) in the County are antiquated, in disrepair and need to be updated to meet ADA compliance – especially for an aging population of Veterans who have done so much to serve our country and our community,” said Supervisor Robert Rickman, Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.
“On behalf of the Board, it’s an honor to do our part for our Veterans, we owe them a debt of gratitude. There is no way we can repay them for their service and sacrifice, but we can help by funding projects in their community. We want our Veterans to know how much we support them and that we are always here to assist and help out.”
The biggest single endeavor being funded is $750,000 for the remodel of bathrooms at the American Legion Post 249 in downtown Manteca.
The post is also receiving $39,950 to install a steel ornamental iron fence in a bid to reduce damage and littering from the homeless.
American Legion Post 249 members have been trying to tackle various upgrades for their 94-year-old building to better serve veterans and the community.
In 2017, they invested $17,000 into the post to put in an ADA compliant handicap ramp and door from the side parking lot.
That year they outlined a proposal to tackle the remodeling and expansion of the post building by some 30 feet.
The effort is designed to expand programs as well as correct deficiencies.
Narrow stairways lead to bathrooms — one for men and the other for women — on either side of the stage at the Legion Hall in downtown Manteca at 220 East Yosemite Avenue.
The bathrooms cannot accommodate wheelchairs
In addition, the kitchen is beneath the stage making it equally difficult to access.
The hall built in 1929 as a gathering spot for veterans who have served America has the capacity to seat 110 — one 20th of Manteca’s population at the time. The expansion will significantly increase capacity.
The hall, however, over the years has been more than simply a place for veterans to gather to support each other and to seek assistance.
For decades, it was also “the” community gathering spot in Manteca.
Manteca residents would flock to the Legion Hall for various community gatherings.
Even with its limitations, the hall still serves as a community gathering space for Manteca. It is also routinely booked for wedding receptions and other events to help breathe life into the 100 and 200 blocks of East Yosemite Avenue on the weekends.
The remodel and expansion will meet that need but it also will help expand the post’s ability to serve veterans.
The biggest project at the Manteca VFW on Moffat Boulevard is $148,779 for security fencing.
The building has been the target of homeless vandalism as well as thefts involving smashing windows at the entry way. There has also been repeated break-ins over the year into a storage unit and people accessing an area where there is HVAC equipment.
Other work includes a storage building/foundation and permits, new appliances, fans/lighting, and a sound system.
The Ripon American Legion on Stockton Avenue is receiving $172,000 for roof replacement.
Other improvements include ADA ramp, replacing air conditioning, upgraded lighting, insulation and painting exterior walls, replacing floor and the substructure, and window replacement.
The Ripon VFW post on West Ripon Road will receive $103,847 in new kitchen equipment.
Other endeavors include a new solar system, roof replacement, replacing three air conditioning units, emergency backup power, electrical repair, painting, window replacement, and water heater replacement.
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