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Say cheese! Positive City of Manteca endeavors
cheese plant
Food USA plans to reopen the cheese factory on Airport Way in Manteca.

You will be able to send a 9-1-1 text to the Manteca Police Department starting later this month.

The city has worked with Sunnyvalley Meats to pave the way for a $30 million expansion of their West Yosemite Avenue processing plant as well as with Food USA to get a long shuttered cheese processing plant on Airport Way near Dell Webb at Woodbridge up and running to generate more jobs this year.

There are now 34 surveillance cameras along with license plate readers throughout the city including four at the reconfigured Union Road and 120 Bypass interchange.

And the city does have a plan to widen Main Street through downtown to four lanes that was the top priority adopted by the City Council in 2020 for the fourth consecutive year.

That was part of the positive message City Manager Miranda Lutzow shared at the start of Tuesday’s Manteca City Council  budget goal setting workshop for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1.

Lutzow said staff will bring back the project to widen Main Street from Yosemite Avenue to Alameda Street to four lanes next month so it can go out to bid again.

Bids that came in at the end of 2020 for the project were more than $1 million over the estimate. Staff has been working with bidders to see how they could reduce costs as well as combing the city’s budget for additional funds to complete the work.

Once the work is done, the downtown bottleneck will be eliminated. That means Main Street — the city’s heaviest traveled north-south arterial — would be four lanes from Lathrop Road to the 120 Bypass.

The workshop was aimed at identifying major initiatives the council wanted undertaken in the upcoming budget.

Staff cautioned there would be some funding constraints given the loss of sales and motel room taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Staff will be tasked to work within general confines to identify implementation strategies and costs for the goals that appear in the accompanying sidebar story. Before the council can move them forward, they will need funding in the budget.

As Lutzow pointed out, the priority list accompanied with more precise programs and cost estimates will allow the council to make the hard decisions necessary to decide what ultimately gets done.

 She noted the city has more needs and wants than it has money. By narrowing down and concentrating on priories that can be funded the city will be able to move things forward.

Her comments followed Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu expressing his displeasure at how the city wasn’t able to move some initiatives to completion in 2020 despite the problems the pandemic created.

He noted the majority of the completed endeavors in 2020 that were listed — the  opening of the fifth fire station, completing Great Wolf indoor waterpark resort, and the pavement work on Yosemite Avenue from Main to Powers— were all started by previous councils.

“Frankly, I don’t think we’ve been successful,” Cantu said.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email