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Manteca share of levee study: $863K
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If 200-year flood protection isn’t secured — or at least a financial and implementation plan in place by July 1, 2016 —  development of the Great Wolf Resort and family entertainment zone, The Trails at Manteca, and other residential projects in southwest Manteca won’t take place.

It is why municipal staff is recommending the City Council tonight approve spending $863,066 to develop an urban levee design criteria and identification of deficiencies. Doing so would help it comply with Senate Bill 5 that essentially freezes all development in the flood zones after July 1, 2016 if progress isn’t made to shore up levee protection.

The amount the city is paying represents a third of the bill. Lathrop is paying the other two thirds of the $2,589,197 cost. Even though the City of Stockton (Weston Ranch) and San Joaquin Country will benefit from improved levees. Neither has come forward to help fund the work. 

The cost split for the work on the 20 miles of levees within Reclamation District 17 is based on Lathrop having 2,250 acres of undeveloped land in the 200-year floodplain and Manteca having 1,240 acres.

While overall Lathrop has more developed land — essentially the entire city — in the flood plain area, Senate Bill 5 only applies to undeveloped land.

The 200-year floodplain reflects what would happen with a catastrophic dam failure and/or heavy storms overwhelming levees.

The 200-year designation doesn’t mean it would happen only once every 200 years. Instead, it is the odds of the frequency of such an event.  

As an example, Manteca has had two 100-year flood events in the last 60 years. As more development occurs there is more area that once helped absorb run-off being covered with pavement and roof tops.

The $863,100 to pay for the analytic work will come from an interest free loan from a growth fee account for storm drains. It would be paid back when a Proposition 218 benefit assessment district is put in place on undeveloped land. The city will hire a separate consultant specializing in formation of such districts to pay for the city’s share of the work now being done and the actual improvements.

The council meets at 7 p.m., at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.