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Community Digest

Whittier Schools : Property Owners Fee Allocated for Repairs

July 01, 1993

The Whittier Union High School District board will use funds it collected in the 1991-92 school year to repair the athletic fields at California and Pioneer high schools and install new lights and a parking lot at California High.

The funds came from a school maintenance fee that the district imposed on property owners within the district. The money was not allocated until now, because of a lawsuit charging that the fee was illegal. A court of appeals sided with the district earlier this year.

The fee was not collected during the 1992-93 school year but may be reinstated in the fall. The board listened to an hour of testimony from residents during a public hearing Tuesday.

The district proposes to bill property owners within the district $20 each to raise $1.4 million to replace lighting, resurface parking lots, repair swimming pools and resurface basketball, volleyball and tennis courts at the district's six campuses.

Residents defending the fee argued that the public should help pay for the upkeep of the facilities.

"I think this is a minor request. We all need to share and participate in this process," Elaine Scott said.

About half of the 32 residents who testified supported the proposal, while the other half opposed it.

Ken Gow said he feared that the fee would lead to other charges. "It's a camel in the tent for other assessments. I like to keep the camel out of the tent," he said.

On Aug. 3, board members will have a second public hearing and are expected to decide whether to reimpose the fee.

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