A grant from the federal Department of Labor will infuse Glendale,
Burbank and La Canada Flintridge with nearly $1.2 million to hire
temporary workers to clean up roads and hillsides, and patch up
streets after last winter’s destructive rainstorms.
The money is coming from an $11-million National Emergency Grant
from the federal government, to help create about 665 temporary jobs
for unemployed workers across the state.
In Glendale, most of the workers are needed in Public Works, Parks
and Recreation and the police and fire departments to patch potholes,
clear hillsides and debris basins and to help process the paperwork
associated with that work, said Stewart Knox, director of the Verdugo
Workforce Investment, which will organize the temporary labor.
The grant money will pay the salaries of about 72 workers for
1,040 hours or up to $12,000, whichever comes first.
About 20 workers will go to Burbank, and not as many workers are
needed in La Canada Flintridge, Knox said.
The funds will be distributed though the city of Glendale, so its
city council will consider approving the grant funds during its Aug.
23, Knox said.
The temporary workers will be useful in cleaning up the debris
that still exists on the city’s hillsides and roads from the storms
that ended almost six months ago, said Steve Zurn, the city’s
director of Public Works.
A lot of work is still needed in the city’s hillside areas, like
Chevy Chase Canyon, he said.
“We kind of got it out of the way and set it aside but we’ve been
going up and continue to clean up,” Zurn said. “We have debris basins
throughout the city that need to get cleaned up before next rainy
season, pothole patching.
The primary areas that we use [the workers] for will be catching
up [on clearing] all material that came up from storms.”
In Burbank, city officials are still calculating how much damage
each city department sustained during the rainstorms.
Much of the needed repairs have already been done, said Bonnie
Teaford, interim director of the city’s public works department.
“We’ve had damage to trails and minor mudslides, but we felt
fortunate here in Burbank on how we weathered the storms, compared to
our neighbors,” Teaford said.
Glendale still has several areas that are more severely damaged.
Camino San Rafael is still closed, and portions of Gladys Drive and
Cavanaugh Road are still inaccessible, Zurn said.
“Those jobs are more extensive,” Zurn said. “Those are in various
phases now that are either in geo-technical evaluation or under
design for repair.”
City officials hope to recoup at least 75% of the estimated $27
million in damage to the city’s public and private property from
either state or federal sources.