The firm that will map out Tracy’s youth sports fields is expected to be told tonight how many fields to plan for immediate construction on the former Schulte Road antenna farm.
The Tracy City Council will consider its options in the wake of a court ruling that declares illegal a city deal negotiated with AKT Development, which could have contributed $20 million or more to the project.
The four-phase plan for 41 baseball, soccer, softball and football fields on 150 acres is expected to cost $37 million, with $8.1 million already set aside by the city. Playgrounds, lights, batting cages and a community building are also included in the plans.
Up to $5 million could be drawn from an open space fund and from other city funds, including the general fund, according to a report prepared by city engineer Kul Sharma and Maria Hurtado, director of the Department of Parks and Community Services.
Also discussed tonight will be proposed increases in explosives tests at Site 300 next to Tracy.
Representatives are expected to attend the meeting from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which issued a permit to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in November to allow the blasts.
The permit was challenged by Tracy Hills developers and by Bob Sarvey, local Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment director. Tracy Hills and Sarvey argued that the district had not properly investigated health and environmental risks from the blasts.
A 125-page information packet prepared by Matt Robinson, the city’s public affairs officer, included an opinion piece written by Lawrence Livermore health physicist Gary Mansfield and published in the editorial pages of the Tracy Press. It played down the health risks of depleted uranium expected to be included with the blasts.
Robinson said he did not include news articles on the planned blasts or a countering Tracy Press editorial because he wanted the council to hear LLNL’s side of the story. Robinson said lab officials declined to attend the meeting because a hearing to appeal the blasts permit is scheduled for Feb. 7.
“They (the lab) didn’t want to speak publicly, but they did say, ‘we’re putting an editorial in the paper,’” Robinson said Friday of discussions earlier that week. “It wasn’t that I was trying to taint it in any way; I was just looking for background information.”
The council is also expected tonight to again debate recommended improvements to Tracy’s airport; receive an update on the planned downtown public transportation center; discuss a voter initiative to introduce council term limits; and consider auctioning off 12 unneeded trucks and cars.
To reach reporter John Upton, call 830-4274 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.