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Norco Adopts Budget, OKs Old West Theme for Street

Times Staff Writer

The City Council passed a $6.2-million annual budget Wednesday night, adding six fire cadets and an animal control officer to the city payroll, and also gave final approval to a new zoning plan that includes an Old West theme for 6th Street.

The new C-4 zone will allow some property owners to keep their horses along the two-mile-long street, with individual approval from the council.

Area merchants and the Norco Chamber of Commerce had opposed that provision, calling it inappropriate to allow horses--and the attendant excrement, flies and dust--near restaurants, food stores, motels and other businesses seeking to attract customers from outside the city.

Attraction for Shoppers

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The merchants agreed with city planners, though, that the city’s popular equestrian center at Ingalls Park, future new housing and a new freeway that will cut through eastern Norco with exit ramps at 6th Street, can attract shoppers to what is now the city’s secondary commercial district.

To further that goal, the new zoning for the street calls for western-themed signs, buildings and landscaping to highlight the rural character of Norco, a city that is home to nearly twice as many horses as people, by some estimates.

Norco’s 1985-86 budget maintains most city services at the same level as last year, City Manager John Donlevy said in his budget message.

The council approved the budget with few changes to the proposal Donlevy submitted. Foremost among the changes was a doubling of the number of positions proposed for the Fire Department’s new cadet program.

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The six full-time cadet positions will bring the Fire Department staff to 17 and are projected to cost the city $69,888.

Police protection, provided under contract by the Riverside County sheriff, will continue at the present level.

The budget also calls for the hiring of a fourth animal control officer, at a yearly salary of $17,933. Donlevy estimated that by improving dog-licensing enforcement, the new officer may bring in $35,000 in uncollected fees.


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