Local News in Brief : City, Port OK Land Deal

The Port of Los Angeles and city officials have reached a compromise in a long-running dispute over the purchase price of an 87.3-acre parcel the port is buying from the city in San Pedro.

The port will pay $27.4 million for the land--more than the $26 million the harbor commissioners wanted to spend but considerably less than the $35.5-million price set by an outside appraiser. The final purchase price is also less than the $31.5 million that Councilwoman Joan Milke Flores, who represents the harbor area, demanded in November.

The two sides reached agreement on Tuesday at a joint meeting of the City Council's Finance Committee and Industry and Economic Development Committee. A spokeswoman for Flores, who chairs the latter panel, said the councilwoman is happy with the deal even though it is less than she asked for.

But Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who chairs the Finance Committee, blasted port officials at the meeting, saying they were "stingy" with the Harbor Department's money and that instead of helping the city financially, they frequently "hide behind" their agreement with the state, which says any money the port makes must be used to promote commerce, navigation and fishing.

Countered port spokesman Cal Burton after the meeting: "We do everything within our purview to assist (the city) economically as well as socially."

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