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Picnic shade structure next for Woodard Park
Those using picnic tables at Woodward Park will have protection from the sun later this year. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Things are going to become a bit cooler for those who use the picnic tables at Woodward Park.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to call for bids to build a 60- by 60-foot shade structure over the picnic area at the community park south of the 120 Bypass. When the $200,000 project is completed, all three community parks in Manteca will have shaded picnic structures. The others are at Northgate Park and Lincoln Park.

Bids will be opened July 3. That means work could start as early as this fall.

The shade structure is being paid from fees collected on new housing growth for the purpose of providing park facilities. Some $270,000 has been budgeted for the project.

The proposed 2012-13 capital improvement budget includes putting aside an additional $70,195 to allow the Woodward Park Bridewell Avenue parking lot to proceed. When that money is added, the city will have the entire $664,200 in park fees needed to proceed.

It will provide space for 90 vehicles on the southeast corner of the park. The goal is to have additional parking for large events so that the impact on neighborhood streets is less. It also will reduce maintenance costs as it will mean less grass for crews to maintain.

The proposed capital improvement plan also includes spending $75,000 in the 2014-15 fiscal year for the installation of exercise stations along the perimeter walkway.

Another $864,000 is being earmarked to spend in 2014-15 on a concession and restroom building at Woodward Park.

The city doesn’t necessarily have all of the money on hand for the projects beyond next fiscal year. The projects are being scheduled based on anticipated fee revenue as well as what is in the bank already.

The city’s “wish list” for Woodward Park projects that won’t get started for a minimum of five years or more include $1.6 million for a lighted baseball field, $1.9 million for an amphitheatre, and $4.1 million for a tennis center.