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Ripon asking Uncle Sam for bike path funds
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The City of Ripon will submit two proposed projects for the 2014 San Joaquin One Voice trip.

But bringing along a representative from Ripon as part of the San Joaquin Council of Governments’ contingent to Washington D.C. is another matter.

Last Tuesday, the Ripon City Council will look at the feasibility of a rep after agreeing on the Ripon-Manteca Class 1 Regional Bikeway Connection as the One Voice Regional Transportation Project and the Surface Water Supply – that’s the future connection plan, linking the City of Ripon water system to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District Nick DeGroot Water Treatment Plant – as the Local Priority Project.

In the three years, the One Voice projects approved included last year’s City of Stockton, French Camp interchange ($3.3 million), North Stockton Interstate 5 Improvements ($4 million) in 2011, and the I-5 / French Camp Road Interchange ($980,000) in 2010.

“There’s significant money involved but the (approved projects) were all from Stockton,” Councilman Leo Zuber said.

He added, “We need to look at the cost for us to send a rep. I think it could enhance our chances – it’s easy to say ‘no’ to an empty chair.”

The closest to a rep for Ripon was last year when General Manager Jeff Shields of SSJID made the trip to the Nation’s Capital.

Council members would first like to know about their chances at securing the $2.5 million necessary to purchase the right of way necessary to connect the existing Class 1 bikeway system between Ripon and Manteca.

The other One Voice project is that of the five miles of pipeline, connecting Ripon’s water distribution system with the SSJID transmission main. The project is estimated at $3.5 million.

SJCOG seeks projects that are regionally significant while providing community-wide benefit.

The two Ripon projects will be up for review by SJCOG staff and the SJCOG executive committee.

Final approval necessary for the 2014 One Voice trip will be in the hands of the SJCOG board.

Council, in addition, approved the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation request to make the trip as a non-profit seeking $1.5 million needed for the all-weather track surface at Ripon High’s Stouffer Field.