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Governor Eliminates $780,000 in Area Projects


SACRAMENTO — Gov. George Deukmejian on Tuesday deleted from the state budget about $780,000 for San Fernando Valley area projects, including cleaning up ground water, building a sound wall along the San Diego Freeway and caring for the children of government workers in Van Nuys and the elderly in North Hollywood.

The cuts were part of $753 million Deukmejian blue-penciled from the $55.7-billion state spending plan approved last weekend by the Legislature, ending a stalemate on the budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

Among the Valley area items Deukmejian removed from the budget:

* $315,000 to match federal money to clean up the San Fernando Groundwater Basin. The cities of Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale and the Crescenta Valley County Water District all draw water from wells in the basin, which have been contaminated by chemicals. The appropriation was part of $5 million that the governor sliced from a program operated by the state Department of Health Services.

* $300,000 added to the budget by the Legislature to build sound walls along the San Diego Freeway between Victory Boulevard and Sherman Way. Deukmejian said the sound wall and similar highway appropriations he killed should compete for money "during the normal budget development process" before the budget is sent to the Legislature.

* About $75,000 added by the Legislature for the Valley Storefront Senior Center in North Hollywood. The program enables the elderly and disabled to remain in their residences instead of nursing homes. Sen. Alan Robbins (D-Tarzana) estimated that the center would have received the money as its share of an $1.9-million appropriation to the state Department of Aging.

Deukmejian said the $1.9 million had to be cut "to ensure fiscal responsibility."

* An estimated $90,000 in seed money for a day-care center at the Van Nuys Civic Center for the children of state and other government workers. Robbins said he is hopeful that the money still will be available to start the center, citing Deukmejian's failure to delete language from the budget directing the state Department of General Services to develop plans for the center.

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