Courtesy photo

Galt Community Development Director Chris Erias will be leaving Galt for a position in Manteca.

After 15 years, the city’s Community Development Director Chris Erias will move on to the City of Manteca.

“I will surely miss working for Galt,” Erias said. “I have had such positive experiences working for the city, all of which centers around the people I have interacted with.”

Erias said he was attracted to Manteca for the professional growth opportunity and “it reminded me of Galt, just a little bit bigger.”

Erias said he’s gained a lot of knowledge and satisfaction from the projects he’s worked on over the years, such as Galt Place, the senior apartments in Old Town, the Brewster Building Rehab, getting Walmart into the community and Dry Creek Oaks Senior Development.

Erias also worked on the Climate Action Plan, which included numerous code amendments.

Also of note, Erias was able to acquire over $1 million in grant funds during his tenure.

Keeping the small town atmosphere while growing businesses and housing is very important according to Erias, and he believes the 2030 Galt General Plan, which was adopted in 2009 after 50 public meetings, will make that happen.

“The bulk of the city’s growth is eastward, avoiding the Consumes River Preserve to the west and the prime Ag land to the north,” Erias said. “Galt’s growth is projected at a population of 50,000+ at build out. This is a reasonable population, which can bring some additional services to the city without the pitfalls of being too large.”

Erias said that, although there is room to grow in Galt, growth is limited.

“Galt is fortunate that growth beyond current planned boundaries is limited,” Erias said. “Galt will have permanent greenbelts to the north and west, preventing any connectivity to Elk Grove. Small rural communities like Collierville to the south and Herald to the east will provide permanent rural buffers. This will keep Galt somewhat rural even as it continues with its suburban and urban type growth.”

Erias said one of Galt’s biggest challenges is maintaining fiscal responsibility.

“I’m confident that the City Council and the new city manager have also identified this challenge,” Erias said. “Also, a continued effort toward improving Old Town, improving maintenance of city parks and landscape medians, especially the protection of the tree canopy and, finally, creating a viable long-term plan for the Galt Market.”

Erias’ last day with Galt will be Aug. 27.