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March 21, 1985

The City Council ignored a staff recommendation for a $150,000 cleanup program on Crescent Street--the city's beachfront walkway--choosing instead a less expensive "plugging holes" approach.

The council, with only Councilman W. F. (Oley) Olsen dissenting, balked at increasing the wharfage tax--a 60-cent fee added to the commercial boat fares coming into Avalon--by 15 cents to raise the money needed for the program recommended by City Manager John Longley.

Longley's program would have doubled the city's downtown maintenance crew to 14 for the summer tourist months and provide "Disneyland-type" cleanup daily from 7 a.m. to midnight.

But council members said the increase in wharfage fees was too much, and chose a plan the city used last year at a cost of about $16,000 that involved adding two or three employees and providing cleanup only until 10 p.m. to areas most in need.

"Really, we would like to have a spick-and-span city, but I don't think we can afford it," said Councilman Hugh (Bud) Smith.

"I come from the rational school of city management," Longley said calmly during the council discussion. "I look at a problem and try to see how it can be solved. The (cleanup) problem can be solved and it will cost $150,000 to solve it."

The City Council two weeks ago awarded a $50,000 contract for maintenance of public bathrooms. However, a funding source for that contract had not been identified. Longley said he had hoped to get the money from the increase in wharfage fee. Longley asked the council where the city would get $16,000 for summer cleanup.

"Just budget it," said Mayor Gil Saldana.

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