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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona : Fee for Plaza Use Sought

May 12, 1988

The City Council plans to ask the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific to pay for the use of College Plaza, a section of a public street that has been part of the school's campus since 1984.

The council voted unanimously Monday night to invite college officials to a council meeting at which the city is expected to request a voluntary payment of $900 a month from the college.

The block, originally part of 2nd Street, was formerly known as Pomona Mall East and has been closed to automobiles since the mall was built in the early 1960s.

In the late 1970s, with business in the pedestrian shopping area floundering, the city began allowing cars into Pomona Mall except for the block between Gibbs and Elm streets. With the city's approval, the college later erected gates on each end of the block and renamed it College Plaza.

Councilman C. L. (Clay) Bryant originally proposed that the city impose a mandatory $900-a-month "user's fee" on the college. Bryant said the fee would generate much-needed revenue for the city, adding that the college should not be treated as "a sacred cow."

However, City Atty. Patrick Sampson advised the council that the city could not charge a fee for use of a public street. Although the fee would be voluntary, the City Council could opt to reopen the street to automobiles if the college declines to pay, council members said.

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