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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Padilla Urges City to Help Poor to Get Sewer Hookups

October 26, 2000

LOS ANGELES — City Councilman Alex Padilla is urging the city to use federal funds to subsidize sewer installation for lower-income families in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Nearly 2,000 families in the northeast Valley use septic tanks, an outdated and inefficient means to dispose of sewage, Padilla said in a statement.

Although sewer line hookups are now standard in most developments, many families in Pacoima, Panorama City and Sun Valley cannot afford to hook up sewer lines to their houses, which were built in the 1950s and 1960s, Padilla spokesman David Gershwin said Wednesday. Hookup costs range from $5,000 to $17,000--a burden for lower-income residents, he said.

"Just ask any family in Sun Valley," Gershwin said. "When they have people over, they have to ask their guests not to flush the toilet because it might flood the septic tanks. We're not talking about families living in the mountains. These are people who live in cities."

Padilla plans to introduce a motion at next week's City Council meeting calling for the city to use federal Neighborhood Preservation Program money for sewer hookups.

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