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Anti-Gang Program to Get New Home

May 30, 1993

PACOIMA — The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to spend up to $886,000 to buy and convert a vacant warehouse in Pacoima for use as a home for an anti-gang program run by the Los Angeles Police Department.

On an 11-0 vote Wednesday, the council approved a proposal by Councilman Ernani Bernardi to transfer $186,000 to acquire the building at 11844 Glenoaks Blvd. In April, 1992, the council had set aside $700,000 for the same project.

Additional money was needed after an appraisal set the fair market value of the property at $865,000. The site is to be the home for the Police Department's Jeopardy anti-gang program in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

But funding for the project continues to be controversial among Lake View Terrace homeowners, some of whom contend that Bernardi is wrongly tapping a trust fund set up to benefit them to pay for the anti-gang building.

The building purchase is being made with money from the Lopez Canyon Community Amenities Trust Fund. The $5-million account was set up to provide services to the areas adversely affected by the city-owned Lopez Canyon landfill above Lake View Terrace.

Lew Snow, a Lake View Terrace activist, said using the money to help gang youths in Pacoima and Sylmar is an inappropriate use of the money.

"The Jeopardy program is great, but it's wrong to fund it with this money," Snow said. "They're taking money out of the wrong checking account."

Snow said Thursday that he and other homeowners may now revive a taxpayer lawsuit they had previously filed to prevent the funding.

They had backed away from that suit, convinced that the city would relent.

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