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Council closes book on dock fee increases

Just two residents show up to protest the issue of allowing rental of residential piers.

January 23, 2013|By Jill Cowan

In other business, the council moved to change the city's approach to prevailing wages on local public works contracts.

As a charter city, Newport Beach can opt out of state requirements that workers on public works projects be paid a prevailing wage.

The requirement often means that cities pay more for stringently vetted workers who have completed more thorough training for complex construction jobs.

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City staff said not requiring prevailing wage for things like landscape and building maintenance — theoretically less sophisticated construction projects — could save money.

But local contractors and union representatives spoke against the proposed change, saying that not requiring prevailing wage invites problems, like shoddy work that may have to be redone on the city's dime.

Previously, the city's rules effectively defaulted to requiring that workers on any public works projects be paid prevailing wages. Now, the council can choose to require prevailing wage on certain projects, if they're deemed to be complex enough.

The council voted unanimously to make the change.

The council also voted to extend the city's pledge to match 3-1 contributions to the city's Bike Safety Improvement Fund.

The matching pledge was scheduled to end with last year, but now local bike safety activists have until March 31 to max out the pledge by raising $150,000, which would trigger a city contribution of $450,000 to the fund.

jill.cowan@latimes.com

Twitter: @JillCowan

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