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Temporary workers to help clear debris

Darleene Barrientos

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.


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