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City Buys Trolleys; Thalia Deck Repairs; New Bike Racks; City Hall Goats

And more news in the city manager's weekly update of Laguna Beach goings-on.

Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig's weekly update:

Grant Approved for Purchase of Trolleys – The City applied for a State and Local Partnership Program grant in July for the purchase of three trolleys for the summer Festival Service. The $318,000 grant was recommended by OCTA and recently received final approval from the California Transportation Commission. The City will provide 50% matching funds, which are already in the current budget. The new trolleys will take a year to order and manufacture, and will ultimately displace three of the six trolleys that the City normally leases during the summer.

Thalia Street Deck Repairs – During maintenance on the wood view deck at Thalia Street, rotten wood was discovered. The deck is currently closed and repairs are in progress. The repair work will take several weeks.

The 55th Annual City of Laguna Beach Tennis Tournament – The 55th Annual City of Laguna Beach Tennis Tournament was held this past weekend at Alta Laguna Park.  With 24 participants competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles play, the tournament offered an opportunity for old friends to come together and new friendships to form.   Thanks to all who participated, including Tournament Director Garry Glaub for organizing such a wonderful event. Winners  for  each  category  are  as  follows: Women’s 4.0 Singles - Dominique Willette, Men’s 3.5 Singles – Clark Collins, Men’s 4.5/5.0 Singles - Olov Nasiell, Men’s 4.5/5.0 Doubles – Olov Nasiell and Oliver Nasiell, Mixed 3.5/4.0 Doubles – Antony Besso/Maria Szakacs.  The City offers tennis lessons to players of all ages and ability levels.  To learn more or to sign up, please visit the City’s website here.

Call 811 Before You Dig. It’s Free – Excavations, planting, demolition and other forms of digging are a major cause of pipeline damage. A way to prevent this is for individuals who plan to dig to call the Underground Service Alert at 811, wait two business days to have underground utility-owned lines marked prior to starting projects and using hand tools when digging near pipelines. The Southern California Gas Company emphasizes enforcement of California’s “Call Before You Dig” law (Government Code 4216) for contractors to mark the area to be excavated before calling 811. This service is free of charge. Please see this link for more information.

OCTA Bus Fares – On November 26, OCTA is holding a public hearing to raise bus fares from $1.50 to $2.00 a ride.  Fares for a daily pass and a 30-day pass are also proposed to increase.

Utility  Undergrounding  Completed  –  Utility  undergrounding  has  been  completed  in  Mar  Vista Avenue / Eaglerock Way / Third Avenue – Underground Utility Assessment District 07-2, with 39 parcels, was completed this week. All poles and wires have been removed.

Goats at City Hall - The Fire Department will be moving a herd of goats on the hillside behind City Hall as part of the City’s ongoing fuel modification program.  The goal of the City’s fuel modification program is to create a defensible space between homes and Wildland Urban Interface that surrounds the City.  The goats should be behind City Hall for approximately one week before they are moved to North Laguna. 

Bike Racks Installed – In August, the City Council authorized the installation of bike racks at various locations throughout the city. City staff worked with members of the Complete Streets Task Force to identify suitable locations.  Thirty-two bike rack opportunities were identified.  Fifteen have been installed and the remaining bike racks will be installed by the end of the year.

Bypass and Cleaning Operation at the Laguna SOCWA Lift Station – Next week, the wetwell of the lift station located between the Lumberyard Lot and the City Employee lot will be cleaned and inspected.   The work requires large portable pumps and above grade piping to be constructed.  The project will require parking and pedestrian restrictions.  The walkway between the Employee’s Lot and the Lumberyard Lot will be closed.  Parking along the channel in the Lumberyard lot will be cordoned-off as will the immediate area adjacent to the lift station in the Employee lot.  The work will begin Monday, November 5th and be completed by Wednesday, November 7th.

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