Newly seated Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth will serve on the Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG) to represent Turlock and its interests regionally, which will meet for a series of public workshops in Turlock, Newman, and Patterson relating to transportation issues, particularly relevant to Turlock and the South County Corridor (SCC).
As of August 2014, StanCOG had been soliciting proposals for the preparation of a Feasibility Study for the SCC, an east-west corridor to connect Highway 99 and Interstate 5 in Stanislaus County’s southern portion that includes Patterson, Turlock, Newman and County jurisdictions.
A countywide transportation tax that could have raised $116 million in revenue, Measure B, failed to be placed on the November 2014 ballot, causing StanCog to explore funding alternatives to for the development of the SCC to connect Turlock and Patterson.
SCC is comprised of West Main Street and Las Palmas Avenue, an east-west corridor in the rural portion of Stanislaus County over Turlock, Patterson and Newman, serving as a connection between State Route 99, 33 and Interstate 5, in the southern section of Stanislaus County.
Currently, the project is a two-lane highway through rural areas; although there are 4-lane segments in Turlock city limits, and three-lane segments in Patterson city limits.
The ultimate goal is a four-lane divided expressway.
Last year, StanCOG members voted unanimously to apply for a state Transportation Planning Grant which would help fund a feasibility study for the proposed corridor, appropriating $200,000 to cover feasibility study costs originally to be funded by Planning Programming and Monitoring Funds. It was ultimately determined that $350,000 would be needed for the study.
From StanCOG, $200,000 was still appropriated for the study, but the remaining $150,000 was agreed to be funded by the cities of Turlock and Patterson contributing $22,000 each, Newman contributing $6,000 and Stanislaus County contributing $100,000. Of note, contributions per city are dependent on their respective City Council’s approval.
StanCOG is still trying to secure funding to actually construct the route.
One option that StanCOG is looking at is a possible countywide tax measure that would be placed on the ballot in 2016. Soiseth, who appointed himself to StanCOG as his second action as Mayor of Turlock, felt it was important he be in the discussion on a tax measure.
"I think it’s right for me, after being critical of Measure B, to be on the board that decides whether we go forward with a countywide tax measure,” said Soiseth. “I’ve been on the record saying when we look at roads we need to do it regionally, not city by city."
Soiseth added that he wants to make sure Turlock gets a fair deal of a possible tax measure, but not only for local roads, but also for the corridors.
The public workshops will be held as follows:
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015
938 Fresno Street, Newman
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015
156 South Broadway, Yosemite Room, Turlock
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015
Hammon Senior Center
1033 W. Las Palmas, Patterson