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South Bay Digest

Manhattan Beach

April 04, 1985

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for setting a fire that caused an estimated $180,000 damage Sunday to Grandview Elementary School.

The actual allocation of the reward money will be voted on at the April 16 council meeting.

Councilman Gil Archuletta said that because he is an alumnus the school "holds a special place in my heart," and he moved that the reward be offered. "I can't imagine the kind of person that would do this and cause this kind of trauma," he said.

The fire was reported on the 911 emergency number at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Manhattan Beach firefighter Tim Viselli.

Firefighters battled the blaze for two hours, and several stayed at the school till 4 a.m. for cleanup and investigation, he said.

Six units from three cities--Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and Hawthorne--responded to the call at 455 25th St. The blaze is under investigation by the Fire Department, Viselli said.

The City Council decided to move ahead with a plan for underground electricity conduits and authorized a citywide survey to determine residents' interest.

The action was taken after the council reviewed an extensive report by an ad hoc committee which recommended that the cost of putting wires underground be shared by both the residents and the city.

The committee also recommended choosing a sample area of the city to help the city iron out any problems before implementing the program citywide, committee Chairman Larry Dougharty said.

The report estimated costs per property owner at $4,600 for the underground conduits, which could be paid in annual payments of approximately $540 for eight years. With city participation, those payments would be lowered to about $350 a year, according to the report.

The citywide survey to assess residents' opinions on the proposal will be mailed in June. The ad hoc committee on underground utilities has been extended until Aug. 2.

In an effort to encourage off-street parking downtown, the City Council on Tuesday agreed to drop hourly meter rates in city parking structures from 25 cents to 10 cents.

To further relieve parking congestion, the council also adopted a proposal to allow public parking at monthly permit spaces within parking structures after 7 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

All street parking meters will remain at 25 cents an hour.

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