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Lathrop repairing Valverde Park parking lot

Measure C already pays for police officers, firefighters, and a host of local projects that benefit the community at large. 

And now the one cent sales tax increase that has grown to generate millions of dollars annually for the city will pay to redo the parking lot of one of the city’s busiest parks after tree roots damaged the existing pavement to the point of becoming a public safety hazard. 

On Monday the Lathrop City Council approved a bid from a local company that will rehabilitate the parking lot at Valverde Park and correct a problem caused by the invasive roots of the existing ash trees planted to provide shade – which have started to come up through the asphalt as well as the sidewalks near the Lathrop Senior Center. 

Cavanaugh Paving and Grading submitted the lowest bid for $84,255.50 to complete the work and was awarded the contract by the council to remove the asphalt and concrete near the troubled spots, remove the responsible root structures, and then repave the parking lot where necessary. 

In addition to creating a tripping hazard, the roots have prevented the parking lot from draining properly and with the wet winter that has hammered Northern California this year, created an ongoing issue that staff can’t address until a permanent correction is undertaken. 

In recent years the city has been cognizant of the types of trees that are planted for municipal projects because of the issues with invasive root structures and has a policy in place that puts the responsibility of tree maintenance – including those of the roots – onto the owners of the property which faces the trees. 

With projects in new residential neighborhoods and tracts like Mossdale and River Islands requiring landscaped strips along sidewalks to create a buffer between the road and the sidewalk – and those strips often including trees – the move away from trees with invasive root issues impacts not just the city, but the homeowners in the vicinity as well. 

The project itself was previously approved by the council, and the formal awarding of the contract after a public bidding process – in which two bids were received – will move the city one step closer towards construction. With $98,900 budgeted from the city’s Measure C fund, the project is scheduled to come in almost $15,000 under budget.  

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.