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Parking Lot Initiative Moneymaker For City

With plenty of unused space behind the Escalon City Hall and Police Department facilities along McHenry Avenue, the City of Escalon has found a way to turn it into a little extra money.

Spaces in the parking lot are rented out to local residents for storage of their RVs.

“On the recreational vehicle storage, we currently have 17 renters at $50 a month with no spaces available,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor said of the popular program.

Council members are looking at ways to add more spaces behind the city facilities to bring in more renters and, ultimately, cash.

At the recent council meeting, Alcantor noted, council members did recommend expanding the rental area to an adjacent vacant lot.

“But we will need to make some improvements such as curb removal for access and installation of road base,” said Alcantor. “Currently, there is not a date on when Public Works will be able to address getting the improvements made.”

So far, the city has collected about $3,500 from the RV storage fees and they currently go into the General Fund. They have not yet been designated for a specific purpose, said Alcantor.

In other action at the recent meeting, council members discussed the funds that are currently available for capital projects for Parks and Recreation.

“At this time, there is $400,000 with $200,000 allocated in the budget to replace the pavement of the parking lot at the Community Center, with an additional $65,000 from CDBG (Community Development Block Grant funds),” Alcantor explained. “There is also a plan to provide an overflow parking lot in the current almond field at an estimated $30,000.”

Attending the session was Mike Sipes, representing the Escalon Parks Foundation, who told the council that the most recent estimate for the skate park is at $415,000 and the Foundation currently has approximately $60,000.

Discussions of possibly using the $400,000 intended for the Community Center parking lot for the skatepark instead raised several issues and council members agreed to bring the matter back for further discussion at the Tuesday, Sept. 3 meeting.

Alcantor said it will be put on the agenda as a public hearing, in order to get feedback from the community. The meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 3 because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 2.

“Staff was also directed to continue taking action on code enforcement issues brought to the attention of staff recently, such as parking vehicles on lawn or landscape areas, weeds, and structures, such as carports, at the front of homes,” Alcantor said.