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Decision to award master bicycle plan contract delayed

August 02, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Asking why it cost $25,000 per mile to do design and engineering — not construction — the El Centro City Council delayed taking action to award a $634,712 contract for work related to the city's planned and approved 34-mile master bicycle plan.

The actual amount comes to $18,668 per mile.

Though no answers were offered, the council was told the city's share of the cost is $72,547, with $562,165 from the federal government. The council also was told the cost of construction, about $3 million to $4 million, will come from grants. The city already has more than $1.6 million for the plan.

Nevertheless, on councilman Jack Terrazas' lead, the council delayed action Wednesday evening.

Terrazas complained the agenda item's backup material was provided Wednesday and there was insufficient time to review it. Other council members agreed.

The information was not made available to the public.

The city's master bicycle plan was formally approved in May and is expected to eventually become part of a countywide system.

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In other business, the City Council:

· approved a two-year extension of the city's contract for visitors' services with the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. City staff recommendation was for $145,000 for each year, but it was revealed that an agreement had already been worked out between the city and the chamber for $145,000 for fiscal 2001-02 and $152,250 for fiscal 2002-03, a 5 percent increase over 2001-02.

City Manager Abdel Salem said the recommendation was in line with the intention of keeping the status quo condition of the city's budget. As such, the item was approved on a 4-1 vote, with councilman Jack Dunnam dissenting, arguing that to give the chamber the increase it sought the council should give increases to the various city departments seeking them.

Several council members, including Dunnam, praised the chamber for its efforts on behalf of the city.

· held a public hearing and approved a conditional-use permit for the construction of a 100-foot broadcasting tower at 1803 N. Imperial Ave. pending review by the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission and the county Airport Planning Commission. The council also approved an environmental negative declaration for the project.

The council was told the tower would be about the same height as the city's water tower on Eighth Street.

· voted to become the lead administrator for the Imperial Valley Waste Management Task Force in dealings with Allied Waste Systems. State law requires each city to implement a source reduction and recycling element and household hazardous waste element as part of a reduced waste stream program.

The household hazardous waste facility will provide residents with a disposal location for items such as oil and latex paint, gasoline, used oil, batteries, aerosol cans, pesticides and antifreeze, among other items.

The facility will be at the materials recovery facility in El Centro.

· approved $16,800 as its share of a fiber optic, telecommunications system joint powers authority with the Imperial County Office of Education, the Imperial Irrigation District and the county.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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