A regional panel put off a decision Wednesday on who should pay for an estimated $1-million study on the feasibility of a San Fernando Valley secession but agreed that a Valley group calling for the study should not be saddled with the entire cost.
The Local Agency Formation Commission rejected a proposal by its executive director to charge a $10,000 deposit toward the entire cost of the study, which could run as high as $1 million.
Instead, the panel adopted a one-time $8,000 fee to process a secession application and instructed its executive director, Larry Calemine, to come up with a plan to fund the accompanying study.
Commission member and County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke argued that Valley VOTE is responsible for the entire cost and suggested that the group try to set up an assessment district in the Valley to pay for it.
Jeff Brain, president of Valley VOTE, the group that is circulating petitions calling for the study, suggested the cost be borne by the state, county and city, with a contribution by his group.
"We do feel that imposing this $1-million cost on the people is an obstacle we cannot overcome," he said.