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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Proposal for Oak View Bus Shelters Put on Hold

November 03, 2000|GAIL DAVIS

OAK VIEW — A county proposal to build six Oak View bus shelters that feature advertising has been put on a back burner until a citizens' committee researches how to pay for various types of shelters without ads.

The committee was formed in response to complaints voiced at a packed meeting Oct. 2 of the Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council. The panel reviews matters involving unincorporated areas of the Ojai Valley on behalf of the county Board of Supervisors.

While nearly 20 residents spoke against the advertisements at that meeting, the residents said they still wanted bus shelters in Oak View, which is served by South Coast Area Transit buses.

The commercial shelters would be paid for and installed by Los Angeles-based Eller Media, which has more than 100 bus shelters with ads in Simi Valley, Port Hueneme, Oxnard, Santa Paula and some unincorporated areas of the county. Each shelter is free of cost to taxpayers and the ads generate about $1,000 in revenue a year, said Steve Perlman, a representative of Eller Media.

The company also picks up the tab for permit fees, maintenance, trash collection, steam cleaning, liability insurance and electricity for lighted shelters.

These costs vary depending upon location, Perlman said, but average $15,000. If Eller Media does not pay for the shelters, the cost to the county could be even greater. Tom Mericle, a traffic engineer for the city of Ventura, said an east Ventura bus shelter cost his city more than $40,000, including costs of a concrete bus pad, sidewalks and a split-rail fence.

The Oak View committee will research other ways it might pay for the shelters, including possibly applying for a grant from the Ventura County Transportation Commission, said Steve Offerman, assistant to Supervisor Susan Lacey.

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