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Safer streets: Lathrop seeks to improve sidewalks
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The City of Lathrop is hoping that they’ll get at least a piece of the $19.8 million of Measure K funds that is up for grabs for local municipalities to assist with specific projects. 

Last week, the Lathrop City Council voted to authorize City Manager Steve Salvatore to submit applications to the San Joaquin Council of Governments to participate in the Measure K Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School program as well as the available Smart Growth Incentive program – giving the city until Dec. 15 to submit formal requests for funding to tackle a handful of local projects that fit the criteria outlined. 

Of the $19.8 million that comes from the fund that all San Joaquin County taxpayers contribute to through a half-cent sales tax increase that was just recently extended, $3.85 million will come from the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School competitive program while $7.78 million will come from the Smart Growth Incentive program. The remaining $8.17 million will come from the former Measure K debt reserve fund and will be available for either of two specific programs. 

And the distribution will be weighted depending on the cost of the programs that are submitted for consideration. 

A total of $4 million will be programmed on a competitive basis to projects with a total cost less than $500,000 in jurisdictions with a population of less than 200,000 people, according to staff report that was prepared for the council in advance of Monday’s meeting. Projects that cost more than $500,000 will require a 10 percent local match based off of the total program cost in order to qualify for the funding. 

In order to help offset the cost associated with preparing applications, SJCOG has provided the City of Lathrop with $20,000 that will be used to cover the cost of consultant proposals, the agreements to which will be executed on the staff level. 

Lathrop will be asking for money that would:

uInfill sidewalks in an area that extends from Woodfield Estates west to I-5 from Lathrop Road to just Warren Avenue.

uInfill sidewalks in an area that extends from East H Street to the north to Louise Avenue to the south, and from 5th to 7th Streets – the entire older section of Lathrop across the street from the Lathrop Senior Center and Valverde Park clear to the Union Pacific railroad tracks on 7th Street.

uThe construction of a Class 2 Bike Lane along Harlan Road from Louise Avenue south through the Crossroads Commerce Center.

uThe installation of improved crosswalks and safety railing along Lathrop Road underneath the I-5 overpass and across both of the off ramps for students walking to Lathrop High School along Spartan Way. 

The final funding recommendations for the various projects will be announced by the SJCOG Board of Directors on Feb. 22. Every city within the County of San Joaquin will be eligible to submit applications for the funding. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.