By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Refunds may not be possible for maintenance on park not in place
Placeholder Image

It didn’t seem right to Manteca City Council members that the city collected $358.78 per home or undeveloped lot in the Union Ranch neighborhood over the past year to maintain a park that now won’t be completed until mid-2013.

So earlier this month they directed the staff to look into issuing refunds to those who had paid to maintain a developed park that doesn’t yet exist.

That may not happen.

Special legal counsel has indicated the council may lack authority under state statutes controlling landscape maintenance districts to provide a refund. Instead, the city is allowed to apply surpluses to reduce subsequent assessments for future costs and in turn reduce the fee collected for the following year.

The City Council is revisiting Union Ranch Park and its status during their meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The city had intended for work to be done by no later than this month when they established the Union Ranch East landscape maintenance district in July of last year. Atherton Homes - one of the two developers involved with the neighborhood - agreed to serve as the general contractor.  However, corporate level delays involving Woodside Homes signing on to complete the park pushed back the start of work.

Now the park isn’t expected to be ready for use until mid-2013, almost two years after the maintenance fees were imposed. The streetscape improvements, though, along Union Rod and streets leading into the neighborhood are expected to be completed in the next few months. The LMD fee also covers their upkeep.

In a report prepared by City Manager Karen McLaughlin, it was noted that:

• 90 percent of the site preparation for the 7.37-acre park was completed.

• 85 percent of the concrete work was completed.

• 60 percent of the irrigation was completed.

• 100 percent of the drain system was completed

• Site furnishings such as tables benches, basketball hoop, barbecue, shelter, playground equipment and such has been purchased and are being stored at the contractor’s yard for future installation.

• 90 percent of the electrical work including lights was completed.

Similar progress has been made with the linear park.

Hydro seeding of the park and linear park won’t occur until late August to avoid the hot and dry summer months that are detrimental to grass taking root.