Library Park, one of the oldest parks in the city and the center of many neighborhood events, is expected to be renovated for $855,000 in the coming year–including a pool where kids can play. Residents of Manteca hear a lot about new parks built in sprouting subdivisions as well as the edges of the city’s Big League Dreams Sports Complex. Yet Library Park downtown is a sentimental favorite. The wooden gazebo acts as a remembrance place for speakers. Farmers set up shop along the grassy fringes of the park on Tuesday nights. During the recent budget meetings with city officials, the City Council made Library Park a priority. Exactly what improvements are going to be made or how the fountain will look is still unknown. But the plan includes almost doubling the size of the1-acre property by ripping out part of Poplar Avenue and buying from nearby Verizon Wireless a small piece of land.
As a kid, councilman John Harris used to play softball on a baseball diamond that once occupied the now named Library Park which is considered as a triangular oasis. The money comes from fees paid by developers searching for lucrative sewer connections. Collecting these fees into a special fund-also known as “bonus bucks”-allows city officials to determine where upgrades are most needed, rather than depending on developers to do the projects themselves.
The city is working on a master plan for its parks to determine what work should be done. In addition to Library Park, the budget the council approved last week earmarks more than $1.7million for other park improvements, including:
- Asphalt work to extend the life of the Tidewater Bikeway.
- Installation of sports-field lighting at Woodward Park in south Manteca.
- Playground renovations, paving, lighting and walkways at Sequoia Park.
- Construction or park irrigation wells in four locations.