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VALLEY FOCUS | Valleywide

Business Group Backs Zoo-Funding Measure


In a move that signals the importance of tourism to the San Fernando Valley economy, the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. announced its support for a November ballot measure that would provide nearly $48 million for repairs and upgrades to the Los Angeles Zoo.

"Our tourism assets are an important component of our economic future," said Bob Scott, who co-chairs the VICA local issues committee. "If we are perceived as a place that is second-class in terms of the quality of our infrastructure, it makes it more difficult to attract people," who might otherwise visit or move to the area, said Scott.

"It's part of keeping L.A. as a world-class city."

The VICA board voted in September to back Proposition CC, which would, among other things, provide $47.6 million to improve safety and access for the more than 1.5 million annual visitors to the zoo.

Steve Lew, VICA chairman, said if the bond measure passes, the zoo also would be able to provide more humane surroundings for many of the animal residents and expand educational programs for children.

VICA estimates that the measure would cost the average homeowner about $1.89 per year.

Zoo officials are trying to secure enough public and private funds to move forward with a $300-million master plan for renovation and expansion.

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