Manteca is seeking Congressman Josh Harder’s support to secure federal funds for a feasibility study for a new police station.
The need for a police station is a top priority for the city.
It was determined to be inadequate for the city’s needs back in 2002 when the city had 40,000 less residents. Two attempts on the city’s part to replace it went nowhere.
The police facility at the Civic Center at the 1001 West Center Street campus has significant security issues including the fact officers and support staff move between offices in an open breezeway secured only by wrought iron fencing and landscaping.
The feasibility study is the essential first step needed to move the project. Several council members have expressed interest in using the front half of 8 acres for a new police station that the city is working to secure along South Main Street for a homeless navigation center.
It would mean the station would front South Main Street while the homeless navigation center would be walled off with a 7-foot masonry wall from the station as well as South Main Street with access exclusively from Carnegie Court.
The city has $15 million in its government facilities account collected from growth as well as another $3 million to be paid back from the fire facilities fees for money borrowed to build the Woodward Avenue/Atherton fire station. There is roughly $4 million a year collected from growth that is going into the government facilities fee account.
Part of that money could go toward construction of a facility as well as leverage borrowing and possible other funding needed for a new police station.
Councilman Gary Singh on Monday said the city needs to make the police station happen as well as to make sure it has a permanent emergency operations command center in the event of a flood, an incident like the pandemic or a major derailment such as occurred in 1989. Such a center saves precious time in coordinating emergency response.
Singh believes a multiple-story station will work on the site. And by being close to the homeless navigation center police will be able to stay on top of any potential issues the homeless may create in the nearby areas.
He also sees the potential for locating the fire chief’s offices at a South Main Street site as well as working with the county to possibly relocate the Manteca branch of the Superior Court into the same facility.
By doing so, officers called for appearances will be in the same building plus it would allow for heightened security. He noted the South Main Street location is also a bit better for Ripon, Escalon, and Tracy officers that need to appear at court proceedings as it is closer to the freeway.
The South Main Street site was considered 15 years ago for a South County criminal justice complex along with a police department. Plans fell through when the county opted to build a new courthouse in downtown Stockton instead.
The same strengths the city identified in 2007 still apply to the site today being used as a police station.
*It is in a better location to access freeways in a quick manner to get backup throughout the city as well as to get around trains that may be blocking crossings.
*It is much more visible being along the city’s No. 1 north-south arterial.
*It also expands the city’s presence in the core of the city as it is within three blocks of downtown.
*It is also closer to the future population center of the city given by 2040 more than 60 percent of Manteca’s population is expected to be south of the 120 Bypass.
*It would free up nearly 30,000 square feet to expand office space at city hall without the need to build a new complex in the near future to accommodate city growth.
Singh noted it could help address problems with the city being able to house needed staff such as within the engineering department. It could also eliminate the need for a new building to house servers and such in. One strong candidate fort an IT server facility could be the evidence building constructed several years ago.
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