Thursday, October 16, 2008

Council To Help Fund Stop The Trucks Effort

While Diamond Rock gravel trucks slowed down for time being, new threats looming

By Nao Braverman
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting the council agreed to give financial support to the Stop the Trucks Coalition, after the a semi-victory for the citizens’ group in August.
“After this agreement has been worked out, keeping the Diamond Rock Mine’s trucks out of Ojai, it has been pretty clear to me that whatever this group did, they did it successfully,” said Mayor Sue Horgan.
The recent legal settlement granted to the coalition, preventing the Diamond Rock Mine from sending gravel trucks through Ojai until 2012, has given the Stop the Truck’s Coalition some respite.
But the Ozena Valley Ranch Mine’s expansion looms ahead, with many potential consequences endangering Ojai’s safety, tourist economy and quality of life, said Scott Eicher, a member of the Stop the Trucks Coalition and CEO of the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The coalition members pleaded for some financial backing from the city to help them battle increased truck traffic from the Ozena Valley Ranch which is looking to expand.
So far the coalition has spent about $60,000, with $41,000 toward the settlement agreement with the owners of the Diamond Rock Mine, coalition representative Howard Smith told the council.
Council members were eager to support the committee.
“I think the Stop the Trucks Coalition has done all this work and the city has benefitted from it,” said Councilman Steve Olsen. “I think a financial thank-you would be appropriate.”
But since the city is not legally in the position to give a gift of public funds, council members have to come up with findings that demonstrate that the money will go to a legitimate public purpose. They would also have to do some work to come up with a specific amount to give the coalition, they decided.
“The coalition has spent $60,000, $41,000 on the agreement with the Diamond Rock Mine which was hugely successful,” she said. “I think giving anything up to $41,000 can be justified.”
But council members agreed that it would be wise to wait and meet again with members of Stop the Trucks to come up with a methodology for finding the exact amount the city should give the coalition, and a way to keep track of how the money is spent.
A motion was made for city staff to return to the council with a resolution to give financial support to the coalition, leaving the amount blank.
The motion passed unanimously.
In other council news, Public Works director Mike Culver announced that the department has $500,000 available to repave Ojai’s roads, $400,000 of which come from state funds and $100,000 allocated from the city’s general fund.
Vallerio Avenue was prioritized as the highest on the list of 12 out of Ojai’s 48 streets which are identified in a computerized pavement management system as the most in need of repairs.
The estimated cost to repair all the damage to Ojai’s 39 miles of paved roads would cost $8 million, according to the computer system, said Culver. The $500,000 should give them a start.


connie curumbas said...

Thank you to both James Hatch and his organization!!

James Hatch said...

James Hatch supports the efforts, but cannot take the credit.

James Hatch said...

James Hatch supports the efforts, but cannot take the credit.

Ty Pennington said...

Another wonderful way to waste money.
You realize that your new skate park will require gravel, will Stop the Trucks keep those trucks out as well?
I am starting a new organization called Stop Whining About Issues That Really Have No Impact On Anyone But You!
I would also like funding from the City Council. Oh, wait, that would be a conflict of interest for them!
The citizens of Ojai who are "politically active" have their heads too far up their own arses. How about pressuring the police to step up traffic enforcement in the city and provide safe places to cross the street without getting run down by someone doing 50mph in a 25mph zone? How about making the police start enforcing the noise ordinance against scooter trash with aftermarket exhaust pipes? How about letting Vons remodel their craphole store? How about letting national businesses lease space in the city so that the tax revenue can fund stupid expenditures like the Stop the Trucks platform? How about starting a petition to have Pastie-Girl come back to Ojai? How about getting a decent restaurant to eat at where they know what "service" is?
State highways are for inter and intrastate commerce. Just because you're dumb enough to buy a house on a busy road doesn't mean you can then spend valuable tax dollars to cry about it!

neal said...

The regional effort could be completed to address the truck related issues. As a result, three roundtable meetings were held up to make some improvements.The members pleaded for some financial backing from the city to help them battle truck.



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