Part of the municipal spending plan before the City Council when they meet tonight at 6 p.m. is a provision for $2.5 million of the remaining $8.6 million in federal COVD relief funds to be directed to municipal projects by individual council members.
Mayor Gary Singh will be assigned $700,000 for at-large projects. Each council member will each decide how to spend $450,000 among the $2 million assigned to the four districts.
The one-time expenditures can be within their district. Members can also combine funds to underwrite endeavors that will have a citywide impact.
In-district examples could have money allocated toward missing sidewalk sections, small improvement projects at neighborhood parks, additional street lights, and similar projects.
As such, it will address council frustrations expressed over the years
An example was prior to the pandemic years ago when two council members for three connective years kept pushing for additional street lights in the 300 block of East Yosemite Avenue in downtown to improve safety at night near Manteca High. The city manager at the time rejected the lights despite it being a request repeatedly made by residents.
Three council members, theoretically, could combine forces to fund a new unbudgeted replacement fire engine that costs just over $1 million.
There might be a traffic improvement such as the proposed roundabout at Fishback and Yosemite designed to improve safety and traffic flow that could be fast-tracked.
The possibilities are endless. A council member, as an example, could budget some funds toward books and other material for the branch library that is not in the current budget.
A larger neighborhood park could be retrofitted for a cricket field using the funds.
It isn’t clear how individual council members will determine the best way to spend the funds allocated to their district.
They could, as an example, ask for input from residents within their respective districts..
The council meets tonight at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com