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CITY COUNCIL WRAP-UP

The following is from the March 20 meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council.

COUNCIL/STAFF CHAT

  • Councilwoman Elizabeth Schneider reported on the lobbying trip she made with Mayor Toni Iseman to Washington D.C.
  • “We worked every place we could work,” Schneider said.

    The two met with the staff of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the League of Cities Conference in the nation’s capitol. Iseman will follow up the trip by contacting Senator Barbara Boxer’s office.

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    “We lobbied again for funding for the water bill, which is alive and well,” Schneider said.

    If passed, the bill would provide $45 million for the Aliso Creek SUPER Project, named for the goals of stabilization, utility protection and environmental restoration.

    “We have a very good chance of getting it,” Schneider said.

    The funding is two-step process: authorization and appropriation.

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    City Manager Ken Frank requested support from the city managers of upstream communities for the project.

    “All seven cities in the watershed are supporting us,” Schneider said.

    CONSENT CALENDAR


  • EDITOR’S NOTE:
  • Consent calendar items get approved in one motion unless a member of the council, staff or public “pull” the item., which then requires opening it to public comment and a separate vote.Approved without comment:

  • Minutes of the regular meeting of March 6.
  • Resolution extending the Bluebird Canyon Emergency Declaration, which is valid for only 21 days and must be renewed.
  • Authorized City Treasurer Laura Parisi to sign fiscal agent agreements with the Bank of New York.
  • The bank was selected four years ago to act as the city’s fiscal agent for separately negotiated bonds for assessment districts.

    This year, verbal bids were obtained for bundled fiscal agent services. The Bank of New York submitted the lowest bid and also reduced its assessment district fees by 28.4%.

  • Set April 17 for the public hearings on the annual weed abatement program and the Public Works annual intersection visibility and nuisance abatement program.
  • Resolution approving an encroachment permit for an existing walkway and planter walls in the unimproved right-of-way at 1617 Hillcrest Drive.
  • Direction to city manager to execute a three-year telephone land line contract with Cox Communications. Changing from Verizon to Cox will result in an initial 50% savings for the city, Administrative Services Director Rich Swanson reported. Cox also will be able to provide data and voice service to the maintenance yard and community center at competitive rates, according to Swanson.
  • He estimated the initial savings at $10,000 a year and when all lines and services are converted, savings of close to $50,000 a year.

  • New rates for official police towing services.
  • Resolution approving the historic preservation agreement for 309 Agate Street and authorization for the city manager to sign the Mills Act contract with the property owner. The Mills Act is a state program that allows property tax benefits in return for maintenance or rehabilitation of historically valued structures.
  • Laguna Dance Festival, Sept 29, on the cobblestone area of Main Beach park, with the use of amplified music.
  • Resolution directing the city manager to apply to the Orange County Transportation Authority for $1,593,400 in Local Transportation Funds, to assist financing capital and operating expenditures for the city’s transit system.
  • Pulled for discussion:

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  • Hearing on an encroachment permit for 993 Noria Street was pulled by City Attorney Philip Kohn because of a noticing irregularity.
  • COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

  • The council re-appointed incumbents Mollie Bing, Bonnie Hano and Linda Morgenlander to the Heritage Committee, terms to end April 1, 2009.
  • Incumbents Diane Leemon, David Mitchell and Tim Templeton were re-appointed to the TechComm Committee, terms also to end April Fool’s Day 2009.
  • PARKING LOT METER INCREASE 3-0

    It will cost drivers without shopper’s stickers another 50 cents an hour to park in city lots, starting June 1.

    The City Council voted 3-0 Tuesday to amend the municipal code to increase the rates from $1.50 to $2 an hour in city-owned lots.

    Councilmembers Kelly Boyd and Cheryl Kinsman recused themselves on the advice of counsel.


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