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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Moorpark

City Considers Site for Day Laborers

March 09, 2000|KATRINA DEAN

The day laborers standing on the corner of High Street and Spring Road in Moorpark have one goal: employment.

But for years, their presence has been considered an eyesore by some city officials.

That may soon change.

The city's Redevelopment Agency is considering buying property that would eventually serve as a one-stop social services agency. The proposed development at 555 Spring Road would also serve as a hub for the city's day laborers.

"This has been one of the most frustrating issues for me," Mayor Pat Hunter said. "They are such a tremendous eyesore. They have really impacted our ability to revitalize High Street."

Residents and merchants in the area also have expressed discomfort over the presence of the laborers.

Mark Ballat, manager of Tipsy Fox minimarket at High Street and Spring Road, where the day laborers often gather, said his business has suffered because of them.

"They inhibit my morning business," Ballat said about laborers who hang out near the store until around 11 a.m. "Women won't come in when they are here because they are uncomfortable with 50 guys staring at them."

Ballat said there's little he can do.

"I can ask them to move away from my door, but I can't ask them to get off the sidewalk," he said.

Whether the idea will ever be more than just a proposal is still unclear.

"I certainly hope it happens," Ballat said. "It would be less of a headache for me."

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