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SJ County plans center in Manteca
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Home sales at River Islands at Lathrop and elsewhere will help start moving a proposed satellite county center toward becoming a reality in Manteca.

San Joaquin County agreed several years ago to locate a satellite county center in Manteca to serve Tracy, Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and Escalon. The city spent $3.8 million for 10 acres on Daniels Street where it intersects with Fishback Road. The land, which backs up to the 120 Bypass and is near the Airport Way interchange, will be sold to the county for a dollar in exchange for building a satellite center.

County officials have $660,000 set aide to do preliminary work for development plans they hope to tackle in the next several years. The preliminary vision calls for two buildings covering 150,000 square feet or roughly the same size of the 145,000-square-foot Lowe’s that had been proposed for the site.

Money flowing in from county facilities fees collected on new growth is critical to fund the actual construction. For the past six years, the only measureable growth has been in Manteca where 300 to 400 homes have been built annually. Construction is now picking up in Lathrop and Tracy.

The plan calls for locating satellite offices for human services, health service including a clinic, child support payments, agricultural commissioner, assessor, and tax collector to serve residents in the fast growing South County. It could create as many as 400 jobs.

 It is questionable whether courtrooms will be built there but if they are offices for the public defender, district attorney, sheriff’s department, and probation department will also be included in the complex.

Manteca beat out Tracy for the satellite center due in part to its location but also thanks to the deal Manteca made. The city agreed to sell the site to the county for $1 plus freeze building fees at the 2009 level at $1.5 million.