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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the July 21 meeting.

Cold weather shelter funded

The council voted to accept $7,228 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Laguna Beach Cold Weather Shelter Program for fiscal year 2009-10.

WHAT IT MEANS

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The funds are slightly less than half the amount previously granted. The council voted to make up the difference, which will provide shelter for about 55 people on cold or rainy winter nights. Last fiscal year the shelters were open for 61 nights. Churches are opened as shelters, volunteers assist with the operations. The city pays for one security guard and blanket cleaning.

Police and fire radios purchased

The council agreed to purchase 31 grant-funded radios for the police and fire departments.

WHAT IT MEANS

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The grant, from the Santa Ana Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Management Office, reimburses the city for 80% of the cost, which does not include the cost of 19 vehicle chargers and 19 remote microphones for the radios used by the fire department.

The total cost for the radios, chargers and microphones in $123,261.

Assessment district report

The Public Works Department presented a tally of the utility undergrounding assessment districts in Laguna Beach.

WHAT IT MEANS

During the past 17 years, the city has undertaken 21 projects involving 1,940 properties, some of them owned by the city. There are districts in progress for 600 properties.

Green grows the city

The council unanimously approved a proposal to adopt and implement the new state Green Building Standards Code as soon as feasible, prior to the mandatory adoption in 2011.

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WHAT IT MEANS

Staff was directed to review the new standards and report recommendations for implementation to the council.

Whale sited in park

Jon Seeman’s sculpture “Breaching Whale" was submitted to the Arts Commission to fulfill the Art in Public Places requirement for the Third Street Centers.

The commission recommended the sculpture to the council. The council rejected the project for the site, but agreed to pay the prize money anyway and find another place for the whale, which it did at the July 21 meeting.

WHAT IT MEANS

The sculpture is to be installed in Heisler Park above Rockpile Beach. Seeman will be paid $115,000 for the sculpture, $35,000 less than the published prize money, but the installation will not include two other elements of the original three-piece submittal.

Gerald Stripling and Michele Taylor were awarded the $35,000 for a bench they designed as part of their submittal for the centers, which the council decided better suited the site. The $4,000 installation costs for the whale will come out of the Art-in lieu Fund, money collected for projects that do not include required public art.

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However, the whale will have to be relocated nearby when hoped-for state funding to complete the park renovation is secured.

Sewer, garbage bills added to taxes

The council confirmed annual assessments for sewer and trash collection, and sent them to the county for placement on the tax roll.

WHAT IT MEANS

Residents will pay for sewer services and trash collection on their property tax bill.

Weed abatement assessment

The council approved the accounting for the Weed Abatement Assessment Roll for fiscal year 2009-10.

WHAT IT MEANS

The $13,862.33 the city had to fork over to clean up 38 parcels will be added to the tax roll, with specific amounts attached to owners of noncompliant properties.

2010 council meeting schedule

Each year, the council reviews the meeting schedule for the upcoming year to determine if it suits the individual council members. It almost never does and some tweaking takes place, although most months the meetings are on the first and third Tuesdays.

This year was no exception, although one big change was requested by Verna Rollinger: move the annual summer break to accommodate her daughter’s vacation schedule. The council will take its break between the July 20 and Aug. 17 meetings.

WHAT IT MEANS

August has been the traditional break for the council for about 28 years, originally because then-Councilwoman Sally Bellerue wanted it, the city manager said,

The 2010 calendar as approved: Meetings will be Jan. 5 and 19, Feb. 2 and 16, March 2 and 16, April 6 and 20, May 4 and 18, June 1 and 15, July 6 and 20, Aug. 17 and 31, Sept. 21, Oct. 5 and 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7.

Additionally the council will hold its retreat Jan. 9, a budget workshop May 4, joint meetings with the Planning Commission and Design Review Board on May 8 and a joint meeting with the Arts Commission on Sept. 21.

"” compiled by Barbara Diamond



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