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Walmart figures in talk of Mitchell overlay
City officials have been in talks with Walmart about offsite improvements for the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center to avoid conflicts when the city performs an overlay of Mitchell Road at Service Road. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

City officials are communicating with Walmart engineers in hopes that offsite improvements for the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center are done before a planned overlay of Mitchell Road all the way south to Service Road.

On Monday the Ceres City Council awarded a $669,315 bid to paving contractor George Reed, Inc., to pave Mitchell Road from Roeding Road to just north of Service Road. The overlay will be using rubberized asphalt and is a series of overlays along Mitchell stretching from the Tuolumne River Bridge to the freeway.

Councilwoman Linda Ryno expressed hopes that the Walmart project - set to be constructed at the northwest corner of Service and Mitchell roads - will not cut into the freshly overlayed Mitchell Road.

City Manager Toby Wells said his staff is talking to Walmart "to ensure that does not happen." He said the overlay will not occur until next spring.

"We're confident we will have all the information from Walmart by that point in time ... to make sure we don't have to cut into that street," said Wells.

The city needed to award the contract because of the deadline to spend federal funds used for the project.
After the meeting, Public Works Director Daryl Jordan said the city and Walmart has agreed where the lanes are going next to the project and their widths.

Wells predicts the Ceres Walmart Supercenter, held off by challenges in and out court for nearly nine years, will break ground on construction earlier next year and open in spring 2019.

"We're hoping by the end of the year we get their offsite plans, which come first," said Jordan.

"It's not that it's not going - it's just not going quick enough," commented Community Development Director Tom Westbrook.

Also on Monday the council approved a contract for American Pavement Systems, Inc. of Modesto to slurry and cape seal seven miles of various Ceres streets. The $511,587 contract is being funded for the $1.2 million expected this fiscal year from the recent voter-approved Measure L, the half-cent sales tax initiative in Stanislaus County. Collection of the sales tax started in April and the city began seeing revenue in July.

The streets to be paved include Standford, Kay Street, Tenth Street, Ramon Drive, Chahalis Way, Casa Verde Drive, Rose Avenue (south of Whitmore), Roswell Way, Wix Lane, Vernal Drive, Cordoba Court, El Farrari Court, Barry Court, Pyramid Avenue and Drive, Oasis Avenue, Palm Avenue, Mullen Way, Koning, Chaulet Lane, Archcliffe Drive, King Henry Court, Melanie Court, Tricia Court, Veda Drive, Roeding Road, Timberly Lane, Larisa, Astro, Evalee Lane, Hayes Court, Avery Court, East Lane, Sherry Court, Christy Lane and Omie Drive.