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Here are some decisions...

INSIDE CITY HALL

June 12, 2003

INSIDE

CITY HALL

Here are some decisions coming out of Tuesday's City Council

meeting.

NEW CITY HALL

The council agreed to spend $578,185 to Griffin Holdings to design

a new City Hall complex, but that's about all members agreed on.

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Eventually, when Griffin Holdings unveils its ideas to the city, the

council will begin the even more difficult process of deciding

whether and how to make about $30 million in renovations at the aging

structure.

Some council members say they like the idea of scrapping the

existing buildings to replace them with a more efficient complex.

Others, most notably longtime city employee Don Webb, say they'd

rather look for ways to preserve some of the old buildings and their

historic character.

Councilman John Heffernan said that even the cost of drawing up

plans is more money than the city should be spending in bad economic

times.

WHAT IT MEANS

Griffin Holdings will gather information and draw up specific

options for the city to consider at a later date.

WHAT THEY SAID

"This is not a lighthearted expenditure of discretionary funds.

... In times like these, it's time to be prudent."

-- Councilman John Heffernan

ST. ANDREW'S

An environmental study will consider the effects of the

35,000-square-foot renovation planned at St. Andrew's Presbyterian

Church. The council approved a contract with Keeton Kreitzer

Consulting to gather information on how the proposed changes might

affect traffic, parking and noise.

WHAT IT MEANS

As always, the city selects the environmental consultant, but the

applicant, in this case the church, reimburses the city for the cost.

St. Andrew's will pay up to $92,000 for the environmental study.

WHAT THEY SAID

"This will let us answer the community's questions and let them be

part of the process. ... Hopefully, we can build a consensus."

-- Councilman Don Webb

BUDGET

The city's $162-million spending plan got its first hearing in a

regular council session after starring on the agendas of three

consecutive study sessions. Community and council members weighed in

with their requests for extra funding for a handful of pet projects,

including outdoor lighting leading to the City Hall parking lot,

$180,000 for the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District to fund

street improvements on Coast Highway and toilet seats for the 85

public toilets in the city found without seats in a recent inventory.

WHAT IT MEANS

After making their requests, council members approved passing on

the revised budget for final approval at their June 25 meeting.

WHAT THEY SAID

"Everybody wants a piece of the cheese. We're doing our best, but

we're still going to feel the hurt."

-- Mayor Steve Bromberg, on the city's tight economic times

-- By June Casagrande

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