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Union Ranch folks earn reprieve
Fate of neighborhood park upkeep funding set for July 19
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Union Ranch homeowners don’t like the idea they may end up paying 100 percent of the upkeep for two city parks that won’t be exclusively for their use.

They also aren’t happy that temporary 6-foot wooden fencing behind their homes along the future extension of the Tidewater Bike Path and along a linear park will be replaced with a hybrid fence to provide “eyes on the park.” The design calls for a solid structure for four feet with the final two feet encompassing a tubal design. That would allow homeowners to check on activity in the park but it also would mean those using the bike path and linear park could look into their backyards.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday opted to delay canvassing the parcel owners’ vote on whether to form a landscape maintenance district (LMD) for the yet-to-be-built parks until the July 19 meeting. Fifty-four of the city’s existing 58 parks are maintained with general fund money. The rest are included in LMDs.

Homeowners have retained an engineer of their own to challenge findings by NBS, the firm the city has obtained to perform required due diligence for forming LMDs. Last week after NBS revisited the original financial plan, the city was informed by the consultant that the actual assessment could be lowered to 28 percent. That raised suspicion from homeowners that the original NBS was more of a guess-estimate and not a precise engineering study as they were promised.

If the district is formed, it will now cost $358.78 per parcel each year to maintain the park improvements and common landscaping compared to $496.32 per year originally.