EL MONTE — City residents will soon pay to have a yard sale, owners of confiscated vehicles will be charged for impounding, some police jobs will remain unfilled, and developers will pay heftier planning and building fees.
The measures were among those approved Tuesday by the City Council during a special budget hearing aimed at whittling down an anticipated $1.9-million deficit in the 1992-1993 spending plan.
But the lawmakers, who last week earned the wrath of city employees when they proposed a 5% salary cut to help balance the $30.8-million budget, steered clear of major controversy. The salary issue was not raised Tuesday, although it is still pending.
Rather than discuss a proposed four-day, 10-hour city employee work week that would save the city an estimated $52,000 annually in energy costs, the council sent the proposal directly to the city's employee bargaining units. The plan will return to the council in a month after consideration by the employee groups, City Administrator Gregory D. Korduner said.
The council also rejected a 1% fee on gross receipts that would have been levied on charitable bingo games citywide.
"Thank you," said a grateful Maryann Barrios, who runs bingo for Nativity Catholic School, after the council action. "The $4,000 fee we would have had to pay would be basically the equivalent of three children's tuition at the school."
The council Tuesday also approved a limited hiring freeze--including four regular and reserve posts--and operating cutbacks in the Police Department that will save the city $181,435. But, with Councilman Ernest Gutierrez's urging, the council restored six police cadet positions, totaling $87,360. Hiring the cadets to perform office jobs will enable the department to send more sworn officers into the streets, police officials said.
Meanwhile, the idea for a $5 yard-sale fee, a $55 impound fee for cars and $50 charge for pushcarts confiscated from street vendors found in violation of city laws will be refined by city staff before the final wording and amounts are approved by the council.
For developers, the council approved a plan that includes fee changes in 12 planning categories. They include increasing the average lot-division fee from $975 to $1,500 and the average conditional-use permit fee from $1,250 to $1,850.
The budget hearings will continue at the council's regular meeting Tuesday.
The council will meet in a special session Monday evening to pick a replacement for City Clerk Kathleen Kaplan, who resigned after questions were raised about her residency. After Kaplan left, the council reduced the job to a part-time appointive post to save $40,000 annually in salary.