Hoping to eliminate a budget deficit of more than $3 million, the Gardena City Council has unanimously approved a plan that raises ambulance service rates and some bus fares and charges garbage collection companies a franchise fee.
Last week's move, which is expected to generate $800,000 a year, was recommended by a deficit-reduction committee that had been told by city officials not to cut services or jobs.
Gardena hopes the plan and previous cost-cutting measures will get the city back in the black by June 1997. The city already has implemented a 2% across-the-board budget cut and imposed a freeze on hiring and contracts with consulting firms.
Under the new plan, senior citizens and the disabled will now pay 25 cents, up from 10 cents, for bus fare, and students through 12th grade will pay 45 cents, up from 20 cents.