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Northgate picnic area makeover
The Northgate Park group picnic area and restrooms are getting a $650,000 makeover. - photo by HIME ROMERO

The Northgate Park group picnic area and restrooms are being upgraded thanks to growth.

The City of Manteca’s capital improvement plan for the budget that could  go into effect July 1 if the City Council approves it on Tuesday includes setting aside $650,000 in park fees collected on new residential construction to pay to improve the Northgate Park facilities.

The project will include a new shade structure, concrete flooring, security lighting, restroom improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for both the restroom and accessing the picnic area.

The current shade structure is damaged and not waterproof. The flooring is decomposed granite and does not provide proper ADA accessibility under current standards. The restrooms are “very old” and also require aesthetic improvements.

The improvements could potentially reduce annual maintenance costs by $1,000.

The biggest park project, though, is tied into the family entertainment zone moving forward in connection with the proposed Great Wolf Resort’s 500-room hotel, conference center, and indoor waterpark.

The conceptual plan for the community park element of the endeavor is for upwards of nine multiple use fields primarily aimed at soccer, additional fields for the Big League Dreams sports complex and other general recreation amenities.

The city has $2 million in redevelopment agency bond proceeds set aside to start the community park work.

There is also another $200,000 in park fees collected from growth being put aside for the dog park project that has now has been on the council’s priority list more than a decade. Money set aside previously was shifted in the current budget to complete the Morezone Field conversion on Center Street for junior baseball play. There is already $38,270 in bonus bucks budgeted for the dog park bringing the total available to $278,270.

The City Council six years ago designated the northeast corner of Woodward Park for a dog park but nothing came of that decision. The budget language does not list a location for a dog park meaning it can’t move forward until the council either reaffirms the previous decision or chooses a new location.

The budget also contains $100,000 in set aside park fees collected on new homes to pay for installing ADA ramps for 30 playground pits at various neighborhood parks.

Also in the capital improvement budget for parks are:

• $105,000 to replace Civic Center turf with ground cover and shrubs that use less water. The cost is being split between the general fund and the water maintenance and operations enterprise account.

• $42,500 to replace two 15-inch drum wood chippers that will be out of compliance with air quality standards as of Jan. 1, 2016.