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City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

September 15, 2011

The following is from the Sept. 6 City Council meeting.

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City competes for most license plates sales

Mayor Toni Iseman announced that the city is competing with Dana Point for the most sales of the whale tail license plates designed by Laguna Beach artist Bill Atkins.

"The Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau is encouraging us to get the most sales in California," Iseman said.

Proceeds from the sales will be used to fund environmental educational programs.

Promotional decals for the license plates will be placed on city buses. The plates can be purchased at http://www.ecoplates.com.

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Oro Canyon fuel modification approved

The council approved in March a fuel modification program for Oro Canyon and learned this month that the California Coastal Commission had received no appeals within the stipulated 10-day appeal period.

Most of the parcels within the project area are covered by the Arch Beach Heights Specific Plan. Modification will extend from parcel boundaries to about 150 feet into the undeveloped portion of the canyon.

Hand crews will conduct the modification without goats or tractor-type equipment.

All dead dying material and invasive plants such as pampas or fountain grass, artichoke thistle and castor bean will be removed.

Native vegetation will be limbed up, leaving a canopy to assist in erosion control.

Mulch will be applied to the entire modification area to minimize erosion as well as prevent the regrowth of undesirable vegetation.

A qualified biologist will supervise pertinent phases of the project.

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$4 million approved for sewer lift station

City staff shaved as much as it could from the cost of constructing the Main Beach sewer lift station without compromising the project, but the total will still be higher than originally budgeted.

The City Council approved an increase from $3.7 million to $4 million for the project, which included a $2.24 million contract for construction on the site and the purchase of a pre-manufactured lift station for $647,000 to replace the existing decrepit and smelly facility.

"It is at the top of our list for reconstruction," said Water Quality Director David Shissler. "It is 80 years old and all of downtown drains into it. It also had a building on top of it."

Shissler was referring to the inadequate and deteriorating lifeguard headquarters, also due for reconstruction.

"Lifeguards are doing backflips tonight," Shissler said.

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