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Subdivision EIR on E.C. council agenda

April 30, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

The El Centro City Council will pull an all-nighter Wednesday as it addresses a myriad of high-profile projects, including a final environmental impact report on a 465-home subdivision south of Interstate 8, the establishment of a business improvement district for the downtown, a $2 million loan for the city's general fund and the widening of Ross Avenue.

The council meets in open session at 6:30 p.m. at 1275 Main St.

A group of south El Centro residents calling itself Keep Clark Road Country committee is lined up against the subdivision. The group claims the project EIR is lacking in numerous areas, including impacts on road and traffic conditions, on McCabe School, to the El Centro Equestrian Center, to the police weapons range and that the project is not consistent with the city's general plan. The 120-acre project is south of the freeway between Imperial Avenue and Clark Road north of McCabe Road.

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A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for sometime after 7:15 p.m.

The council will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. on the establishment of a downtown business improvement district. The BID would encompass Main Street from Fourth Street to Eighth Street. Allowable functions include sidewalk sweeping, tree maintenance, graffiti removal, security, economic development, marketing and promotion and parking-related actions — but not capital improvements. It is estimated the BID would raise $20,000 to $30,000 in its first year.

Separately, the City Council will consider borrowing $2 million to avoid projected cash shortfalls because of the irregular receipt of taxes and other revenues during the fiscal year 2002-03. The money would be repaid at the end of the fiscal year.

In other business, the council will consider:

· spending $300,000 to widen Ross Avenue to four lanes between Imperial and Eighth Street. City staff will present three options, but is expected to recommend the elimination of off-street parking on both sides, widening the roadbed a minimum of eight feet and re-striping for four lanes, two in each direction.

· approval of an additional $14,575 for the recently completed water and wastewater rate studies.

· approval of $46,000 for a study to determine if the city is charging appropriately for the services it supplies.

· approving the initial design of a $3 million project to widen Dogwood Road to four or five lanes between Ross and McCabe.

· the purchase of $53,894.50 in playground equipment for Bucklin and Adams parks.

· approval of an abandoned vehicle-abatement program.

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

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