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City News

City Council Highlights: July 10, 2018

Sales Tax Measure Continued to July 17th Special Meeting

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, July 10th, the Laguna Beach City Council continued items related to placing a potential sales tax measure on the November 2018 General Election ballot. The items were continued to a special meeting to be held July 17th so that Mayor Kelly Boyd could be included in the discussion, as he was absent from Tuesday’s meeting due to illness.

At the July 17th special meeting, the Laguna Beach City Council will discuss whether to officially place a question on the General Election ballot asking voters to approve a 1% sales tax measure to fund the undergrounding of overhead utilities along Laguna Canyon Road and other key City evacuation routes and additional related fire safety measures. 

It is important to note that if a sales tax measure is put before voters, it can be presented as one of two options to voters: a General Purpose Sales Tax measure (requiring a simple majority approval- more than 50% of all votes cast) which would allow City Council-approved flexibility in the future use of the funds collected,  or as a Special Purpose Tax measure (requiring a 2/3 majority vote) which would limit the use of the future funds collected and earmark them only for undergrounding and other fire safety-related purposes as specified in the measure.

Undergrounding overhead utility lines to improve public safety is one of the City’s highest priorities.  The location of our City and the landscape of surrounding areas make it one of the most vulnerable cities in California when it comes to wildfires, with only a few roads that allow most residents to evacuate in the event of a natural disaster.

The upcoming special meeting of the City Council is open to the public and will happen Tuesday, July 17th at 6:00p.m. in City Council Chambers.

 

City Sanitary Sewer System Repairs Become Faster with New Technology

At its regular meeting Tuesday, July 10th, the Laguna Beach City Council approved the first of four pipeline rehabilitation projects within the City’s sanitary sewer system. The first area approved for inspection and repair includes 5.8 miles of sanitary sewer pipeline from the Bluebird Canyon neighborhood stretching into portions of North Laguna.

 The project incorporates new sewer pipe rehabilitation technology that can repair damaged pipes in only one day, providing faster service for residents with minimal down time.

“It’s a pipe within a pipe,” said David Shissler, Laguna Beach Director of Water Quality. “It’s blown up with steam and then heated and cured. It takes a third of the time it used to since we started doing these 15 years ago.”

Affected residents will be given a two week notice ahead of the sewer repair work which is minimal and involves manhole access to systems to minimize any digging.   The project may involve some night work to minimize traffic impacts.

The rehabilitation of existing damaged pipes will extend the life of City sewer piping by more than 50 years. As outlined in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), this sewer rehabilitation project is the first of four happening over the next four years. Specifically, the project areas include Temple Hills Drive, Central Laguna (between Park Avenue and Mountain Road) and North Laguna (from Broadway Street to Irvine Cove.)

As part of the CIP planning, a low interest loan from the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank was recently secured. The City is now funded to implement and start the first part of this four-year project.