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FILLMORE | VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS

Budget Stresses Rebuilding Efforts

August 30, 1996|NICK GREEN

Reconstruction and redevelopment are emphasized in Fillmore's municipal budget, which allocates money to finish repairing the remnants of destruction from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The City Council approved the $21-million budget, which covers the 12-month-period that began July 1, earlier this week. "The focus of this budget is that it's the last year of the restoration of the city," said Michelle Paddock, the city's recently hired finance officer. "We're very much celebrating getting these projects done."

The budget process was delayed while Paddock became familiar with Fillmore's finances.

Among the big-ticket items is $2.4 million for a reservoir to replace two others, including a metal tank that buckled in the earthquake. There is $550,000 to complete a new $1.3-million City Hall, $368,000 to finish improvements to Central Park and $260,000 to refurbish a former Fillmore High School gym, recently purchased for use as the city's Office of Emergency Services. An additional $465,000 has been set aside to wrap up the extensive $1.1-million renovation of the historic Fillmore Towne Theater.

Much of the money comes from state and federal grants. The city has also allocated $98,000 in a redevelopment loan to the owners of a winery expected to open downtown next month. A similar amount is aimed at attracting a microbrewery as the city continues efforts to attract tourist dollars.

With much of the rebuilding complete or almost finished, Fillmore is planning a "Restoration Celebration" Sept. 14.

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