Manteca is posed to buy $577,000 worth of wetlands credits in the Consumnes River floodplain in Sacramento County in order to develop the proposed 210-acre family entertainment zone.
The purchase of the credits is required under Army Corps of Engineers because the 210 acres that are part of the municipal wastewater treatment plant site to the north and west of the Big League Dreams sports complex contains 5.42 acres of wetlands and 2.44 acres of seasonal wetlands. It also contains 2.98 acres of irrigation canals considered “other waters” that will be lost due to the canals being converted to buried pipe.
The City Council is conducting a special meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. to consider authorizing spending $577,000 from set aside redevelopment agency bonds to pay for the mitigation credits. The council meets at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
Specifically the council is being asked to approve an agreement with Westervelt Ecological Services to purchase 2.44 Mosaic Wetlands Restored credits and 2.98 Floodplain Riparian Habitat Restored credits.
The family entertainment zone (FEZ) is centered around a proposed 60-acre hotel, indoor waterpark, conference center and other recreation amenities. The city is currently in negotiations with two developers interested in developing various segments of the FEZ.
Once the credits for wetlands is recorded in the name of the City of Manteca to meet federal and state mandates, regulatory agencies will be notified and work can finally start on the turning of ground.
Knife River has been awarded the base bid of $8.7 million to do basic infrastructure work such as extend main sewer, water, and storm drain lines that are essential for the city-owned property to be developed for commercial and recreation purposes.
There was $21 million set aside for the South Area Regional Infrastructure Project that includes the FEZ. Funds committed so far leaves a balance of $12.3 million. The wetlands credits costing $577,000 will be covered by those funds.
The Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank is a 472-acre site located at the confluence of the Cosumnes and Mokelumne Rivers, in Sacramento County.
The Westervelt Ecological Services website notes, “This site is approved to provide Shaded Riverine Aquatic (SRA) mitigation credits, a suite of riparian, perennial, and seasonal wetland credits, and riparian forest and shrub scrub habitat credits under the Federal Clean Water Act, California Department of Fish and Game Lake and Streambed Alteration Program, and California’s Delta Levee Program. The Bank occurs along one of the last undamed rivers in California, and will contribute to the restoration and protection of natural floodplain and essential fish habitat along the lower Cosumnes River.”
The wetlands credit program as established under federal and state law is either preserve, create, enhance or restore wetlands to offset anticipated impacts to similar nearby ecological systems.
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