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Council OKs Funds to Clean Channels, Replace Street Lights

The City Council has agreed to spend money on new street lights and on cleaning up the channels in West Newport Beach, now closed to swimmers.

During budget talks Monday, the council revisited several capital improvement projects for 1998-99.

City Manager Kevin J. Murphy, in his report to the council, suggested revisiting projects in January when several issues should be clearer, such as whether the city will lose state vehicle license fee money, or sales-tax income exceeds expectations.

But Councilman John W. Hedges criticized that plan, saying any extra money should go to the emergency reserve.

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He noted that earlier in the year the council resolved to increase the depleted reserve fund, and said Murphy should trim elsewhere in the budget to pay for items the council wants.

The council asked that Murphy return with an update in three months.

In 1993, the city created a plan to replace street lights citywide over 15 years and set aside $750,000 every year for the job.

Budget constraints have limited that to $250,000 every year, however.

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In addition to money for other projects, the council approved $10,000 to study pollutants and improve water quality in the West Newport channels.

“It’s our responsibility to get these beaches opened up again,” Councilwoman Norma Glover said.


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