By DENNIS WYATT
The long awaited upgrade of city-owned parking lots and alleys in the downtown district is almost completed.
The endeavor is being marked with a ribbon cutting Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. at the parking lot at 111 North Maple Ave.
The Manteca City Council last week approved additional work costing $50,000 for repair of cracked concrete curbing that wasn’t included in the initial contract, additional Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, irrigation improvements, and unexpected drainage issues.
That is on top of remaining work under the original contract including lighting installation, the overlay of one parking lot, and minor punch list items.
The alleys and parking lots for the most part had gone 35 to 50 years depending upon the location without any work. Besides replacing cracked concrete, deteriorating asphalt, and other issues the project also corrected significant drainage issues. The work also led to new PG&E gas lines being installed after crews started tearing up concrete and discovered that the lines were too close to the surface.
The overall $908,655 project — including the physical work and design — is the first major project that the council has tapped the general fund’s economic development reserve to conduct.
Residual property tax from the shutting down of the redevelopment agency generates $1.3 million a year that, by council policy, is diverted into the economic development reserve. The reserve has a cap of $2.5 million. The reserve was established to promote development of job creation, downtown revitalization, citywide marketing, and other strategies to stimulate the local economy. Any amount over $2.5 million is transferred at the end of the fiscal year to undesignated reserves to be spent on one-time expenditures.
The council adopted City Manager Tim Ogden’s recommendation in the last budget cycle for capping the money flowing into the account at $2.5 million. Prior to that the fund had been accumulating money beyond $2.5 million that wasn’t being spent.
Spending down the economic reserve doesn’t impact the 30 percent of the $45.4 million general fund that has been set aside for fiscal stability. The $12,073,000 is designated for one-time use to meet cash flow needs, closing short-term revenue and expenditure gaps, to cover costs related to natural disasters or emergencies, and to reduce liability