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Goleta Council Supports County Effort to Ban Transport of Hazardous Materials on Highway 154

Members also vote for staff to pursue an alternate design for the Council Chambers

In its afternoon session Tuesday, the Goleta City Council agreed to support a request from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to ban the transport of hazardous materials on Highway 154.

In an effort to protect the watershed of Lake Cachuma, the supervisors want the California Highway Patrol to ban the hauling of certain materials from Highway 236 to Highway 101 and restrict the size of trucks allowed over the pass.

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments will host a public hearing on the matter at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room at the Betteravia Government Center, 511 E. Lakeside Pkwy. in Santa Maria. Remote testimony is also available at the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room at 105 East Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

“We can’t afford to have an accident affecting water quality by a truck that really shouldn’t be up there,” Councilman Roger Aceves said.

GPS devices have resulted in some truck drivers using routes they probably shouldn’t because the devices tell drivers it will cut time off their trip, he said.

Meanwhile, after much discussion, the council voted 3-2 to have staff come back with an alternate design plan for the Council Chambers, which still sports surgical curtains along the walls, curtains stapled onto the folding table dais and a pole in the middle of the room. City staff will return with a plan that incorporates the ideas from the more expensive options while trying to keep the price tag low to garner the votes of the more skeptical members.

Aceves and Councilman Michael Bennett pushed for improving the current room, since a City Hall isn’t likely to be acquired in the near future.

“Let’s spend the money now and enjoy the fruits of our efforts,” Aceves said. “I’m just sorry we can’t remove that pole — it’s going to drive me crazy forever.”

There are reserves set aside that can be used for such a purpose, and staff options for designs carried price tags of $272,000 to $506,000, causing pause for three members.

“We need a place we can talk together that’s modest and unassuming and affordable,” Mayor Pro Tempore Ed Easton said.

In the ongoing issue of solid waste services in Goleta, Stephen Macintosh of Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara urged the City Council not to support putting more money into the consultant contract for the Solid Waste Franchise Negotiation Support. Though the City of Goleta plans to contract with MarBorg Industries after September, Macintosh has continually asked the city to reconsider opening the process to a competitive bidding process.

Staff said more money was put into the consultant contract because of Allied’s delayed, inaccurate information regarding rates and customer data.

The item was approved, giving the consultant more time and money to work out specifics with MarBorg.

MarBorg’s Mario Borgatello also attended that portion of Tuesday’s meeting.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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