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Moorhead advances sky tram idea
sky tram copy
The sky tram at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Manteca Councilwoman Debby Moorhead believes the sky is the limit when it comes to the family entertainment zone (FEZ).
The FEZ is where a deal is now being hammered out for a 60-acre waterpark resort hotel along with a conference center on part of the 210 acres owned by the city that’s bordered by Big League Dreams/Costco, the wastewater treatment plant, McKinley Avenue, and the 120 Bypass.
Moorhead thinks a sky tram — similar to ones on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, at Cal Expo in Sacramento, and Disneyland — would be a big hit and a draw.
Such a ride would weave through the FEZ with its envisioned manmade lake that could possibly have paddle boats, on-the-water restaurants and recreational sports venues along with the possibility a BMX track, mini-electric race cars, a hard surface skate park, arcades, flow-ride facility, ropes course and more.
While it is an idea she plans to champion to see if the private sector can give it wings, the bottom line for her is the FEZ anchor — the water park resort.
“It’s been a project we’ve been talking about and working on since I’ve been on the council,” Moorhead said.
She is confident that the water park resort operator now working with McWhinney Real Estate — the firm that wants to build the water park resort, conference center, and 500-room hotel  — will more than exceed expectations for land once used to grow corn to feed to livestock.
The parameters of such a deal could be made during a report McWhinney is expected to make to the City Council within the next 45 days on progress on the project.
Meanwhile the city is getting ready to move ahead with $10.4 million worth of infrastructure to prepare the 210 acres for development.

school districts
Manteca Unified School District — thanks to steps taken by Superintendent Jason Messer — will be taking a regional approach of sorts to school needs by sharing information with their neighbors.
After talking with Ripon Unified Superintendent Ziggy Robeson, two of Ripon’s school board members will attend Tuesday’s Mello-Roos workshop involving the formation, limitations, and operation of community facility districts at the Manteca Unified offices. The workshop is designed to bring Manteca’s trustees up to speed on Mello-Roos. The taxing mechanism has become a critical part of funding new schools in growing districts.
It will allow Ripon’s trustees to pick up the same information that will be critical in dealing with developers and providing schools for growth in Ripon Unified.