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Sewer process set in motion for districts 3A, 3B

April 22, 2004|By Jake Armstrong

In a series of moves that begin the process of construction in sewer project districts 3A and 3B on the west end of La Cañada Flintridge, the city council on Monday adopted a boundary map and granted preliminary approval to the assessment engineer's report, setting a public hearing and initiating necessary ballot procedures.

The council also awarded $20 million in contracts for sewer construction in the two project districts, pending voter approval of the assessment district.

A public hearing on project districts 3A and 3B, which include about 1,600 homes and businesses, is scheduled for June 8, with question and answer sessions slated for May 15 and 19. Properties in the districts can expect to receive ballots for the assessment vote, which will include the amount of the assessment, 45 days before the June public hearing.

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The districts lay between La Cañada and Ocean View boulevards to the east and west, and North Castle Road and Foothill Boulevard to the north and south. Properties in 3A will tie into Crescenta Valley Water District sewage lines while those in 3B will connect to the lines of the county sanitation district.

Ballots will be weighted according to the assessment amount, with a $10,000 assessment counting twice as much as a $5,000 assessment, for example. An independent tabulator the city has retained will count the ballots. A simple majority will determine the outcome.

If the assessment district is approved and improvement bonds are issued successfully, Ken Thompson, Inc. will receive two contracts for sewer work totaling $8,796,000 for 3A and $11,955,000 for 3B.

The council's decision drew a mix of opinions from residents.

Sewer critic Jim Short accused the city of violating a number of his rights and sought to have his home in district 3B exempted from the project entirely. Short decried the assessment process as "creeping socialism" and said residents should have a right to be left out of the sewer construction process if they choose.

"I need a new roof," Short said. "Should my neighbors be forced to pay for some of the cost?"

Wesley Whitaker said the construction of sewers in the city is inevitable, and the project will only become more expensive if delayed.

He said that gray water builds up in the street near his home on Palm Drive, posing a potential health risk.

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