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Friday, June 18, 2010

Read the Fine Print Before We Spend the Money

Priceless. Need to do it now. It will bring great changes to Long Beach. You are either for the environment or you are against it.

Gosh, we're about to hear this litany on Tuesday as the Council Chambers are packed to persuade Council to find many millions to have the Army Corps of Engineers do a feasibility study on the breakwater. Funny thing. The Army Corps of Engineers is not willing to include in its study the very thing the City was interested in finding out about: "economic analysis and wave monitoring and water quality." (read the fine print in the management memo posted to the right)

So on top of the possibility that the study won't even look at wave monitoring (i.e. bringing back the waves) or water quality or an economic analysis about the impact of reconfiguration, we don't have the money to spend on a study. According to City Management unless the Port forks over the money for the study (or more precisely the City takes the Tidelands transfer) or the City takes excess oil profits for a one time expense it cannot be done. But folks, this is just the study. If any reconfiguration is proposed as a result of the study, the City has to come up with 35% of the costs.

Last week I voted to approve use of Tidelands funds to repair seawalls that are crumbling in Naples. I did so because if those seawalls fail, the properties could be flooded which would seriously damage the property value and the assessed values from which the city derives property taxes. I believe that is a prudent investment to protect the city from liability claims.

I am no longer convinced that spending money on a study (that now does not include water quality, economic analysis and wave monitoring) is prudent.

There are over $360 million dollars in projects that need funding through the Tidelands funds. Repairing infrastructure and preventing flooding should be top priorities.

I think the City Council should put the issue on the November ballot: should the City of Long Beach expend Tidelands funds in the amount of $4 million for a feasibility study to be conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the breakwater.

Save Station 18

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