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VALLEY FOCUS | North Hollywood

More MTA Funds Sought for Merchants

September 28, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

City Councilman Richard Alarcon will ask the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to compensate North Hollywood businesses to the tune of $9.7 million at a public hearing he has called for Tuesday.

"I want to take this opportunity to inform you that the MTA proposal for $350,000 in mitigation funds for the community of North Hollywood is entirely inadequate considering the extent of the proposed construction," Alarcon wrote in a letter delivered Friday to the Board of Public Works.

In response to Alarcon's letter and a separate request by Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs, the board agreed to postpone a decision on whether to close Lankershim Boulevard between Burbank and Chandler boulevards for 26 days.

Wachs had requested that the board delay voting on that option until MTA head Julian Burke and North Hollywood merchants met to work out an agreement on compensation.

In the meantime, the MTA went ahead with its alternative plan of closing that section of the street for six consecutive weekends.

The closures, from Friday nights to 6:30 a.m. Mondays, have been in effect for two weekends, said MTA spokesman Ed Scannell.

"Closing Lankershim Boulevard at all just makes some business owners' spines tingle, but they could put up with it if they were adequately compensated," said Wachs deputy Tom Henry, who did not give a specific dollar figure that would be adequate. "We want the businesses to be compensated and we want them to be compensated in an expeditious manner."

Alarcon is hoping for a report on the MTA's meetings with business owners at Tuesday's hearing.

The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the North Hollywood Recreation Center, 11430 Chandler Blvd.

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