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SAN FERNANDO : Hearing Scheduled on Library Funding

The San Fernando City Council has scheduled two public hearings and one election to deal with three important issues: library funding, a hospital deal and leasing the old San Fernando police station.

The first hearing, on the library issue, will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the council chambers, 117 MacNeil St. in San Fernando.

The council is expected to decide whether to approve Los Angeles County’s proposal to create a special library district under the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act.

The district, which would be funded by a flat tax on property owners, would preserve and boost services at the county’s 88 public libraries, including the San Fernando branch at 1050 Library St. The County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the matter Aug. 30.

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According to San Fernando library manager Judith Babka, the county budget crisis has slashed hours at her facility by 50% during the past two years, including reducing the budget for new materials from $48,500 in 1992 to $500 last year.

“If the City Council does not participate in the new district,” Babka told the council Monday, “that would spell the death of the library.”

Council members Rosa Chacon, Joanne Baltierrez and Raul Godinez II also agreed to hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 to discuss the hospital dispute surrounding Mission Community Hospitals. The hearing will also be held at the council chambers.

The city has objected to the way Mission Community Hospitals was formed earlier this year when San Fernando and Panorama Community hospitals were merged.

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According to City Atty. Julia Silva, the action seems to violate a 1970s agreement with San Fernando Community Hospital, which agreed not to merge with another hospital in exchange for the city’s support of a bond issue.

The council also agreed to a special municipal election on Nov. 8, in which voters will consider leasing the 4,700-square-foot police station to the city attorney for five years at a cost of $6,345 a month.

Since the Northridge earthquake, the city has allowed the Los Angeles city attorney’s office to use the old police station at 120 MacNeil St. as a temporary headquarters, free ofrent.

Between now and the election, however, the city attorney will be charged $1,300 a month to lease the property.

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