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FEMA Still Looking at City Hall Retrofit

Plans to retrofit City Hall are in the works but still awaiting final approval.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is considering the final financial stages of the city’s application to strengthen City Hall with exterior braces, city engineer Ernesto Munoz said. The work would improve the building’s ability to withstand an earthquake: City Hall, at 77 Fair Drive, is near the Newport-Inglewood fault zone.

Project costs are estimated at $1.7 million. If the application is approved, the agency likely will pick up $1.3 million, with the city covering the remaining $400,000.

The work would include strengthening for electric, mechanical and plumbing systems as well.

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Munoz said that as soon as the city is given the money, it will complete design plans, with work starting in 1999 or 2000.

Federal money for the project was authorized under President Clinton’s disaster declaration issued after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In each presidentially declared disaster area, a percentage of FEMA’s recovery funds go toward preventing future problems.


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