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Manteca establishing emergency ops center
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Manteca is establishing a new Emergency Operations Center.

The city’s proposed $48 million capital improvement budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $450,000 to locate a new EOC in leased space on the second floor of the office structure at 302 Cherry Lane just northeast of the Civic Center campus. The downstairs of the same building houses the city’s information technology and human resources departments.

The existing EOC is behind the Powers Avenue fire station in a portable building that is in disrepair. It is scheduled to be removed to install solar panels to power the adjoining municipal water well.

The space would also provide room for two classrooms to meet various city needs when not in use as an EOC.

The floor plan and central location is conducive for such a use plus the fact it is on the second floor puts it out of any danger of flooding.

Some of the equipment at the current EOC would be re-purposed.

The annual operating costs for utilities and alarm systems are pegged at $13,000.

The need for an Emergency Operations Center was underscored in the late 1980s when a chemical train derailed near Manteca High in heavy fog. That led to more than a 1,000 people being evacuated and scores of outside emergency workers to coordinate in controlling the situation.

That was followed by the 1997 floods required the evacuation of over 2,000 people and brought almost as many emergency workers into Manteca.

 By having the EOC near information technology it would assure the operations center would be deployed in a timely manner.

City officials note besides flooding and train derailments at EOC could be used for other major emergencies such as gas line explosions, a serious chemical spill on one of the two freeways that pass through Manteca or other emergencies.

The project is being funded with $450,000 in bonus bucks paid by developers for sewer allocation certainty for new homes.