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Manteca Unified ponders school site land switch
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A possible land exchange agreement between the Manteca Unified School District and Union Ranch Properties, LLC is one of the items to be discussed Wednesday by the Measure M Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the district office board room at 2271 West Louise Avenue.

Part of the $2,019,595 money used to purchase the nine-acre vacant lot in the Union Ranch residential subdivision in 2006 came from the voter-approved Measure M funds. However, because of the ensuing mortgage meltdown that caused home-building to nosedive, the Union Ranch parcel that was planned to be an elementary site has since been just a dustbowl in the middle of a neighborhood with new homes and a park located right next to the dust-ridden vacant lot. To avoid paying taxes on the unused property, a proposition was made to put in place some improvements on the property. However, the estimated $230,000-plus landscaping project was deemed too high by the Board of Trustees leading to a search for alternative ways to solve the problem, and that led to the subject of a land swap which the district is now pursuing.

The district is hoping for a swap option that would yield a 17-acre school site to address the need once the housing boom returns bringing with it an increase in student population.

In other items, the oversight committee members will:

*discuss the recent increase in Measure M’s general obligation bond rating by Standard & Poor;

*listen to a presentation by MUSD senior director of operations David Burke regarding the summer project at East Union,

*listen to a Measure M project overview report as of Aug. 31, 2013 prepared by California Financial Services.

New committee members Chuck Carpenter and Sharla Moore also will be introduced to the meeting which they will be attending for the first time since their appointment. Other current members of the committee are Mark Condit, Dale Fritchen, Robin Meglan, Alison Ordner, Susan Patnaude, and Ray Tolle. The terms fo Meglan, Ordner and Tolle will expire in 2014; the rest will serve until 2015.