Monday, May 21 , 2018, 12:15 am | Fair 59º


Local News

Goleta Council OKs Five-Year Program for Improvement Projects

But the city will have less money to put toward road and pavement work

With a reduction in anticipated revenue from Measure A, it’s going to be a balancing act between capital improvement projects and road maintenance for the City of Goleta. The City Council voted Tuesday to accept a five-year program of projects for the half-cent transportation sales tax revenue.

Revenues dropped by about 20 percent from initial estimations because of the flagging economy, according to Community Services Director Steve Wagner. The city is expected to get $1.16 million for fiscal year 2011-12.

Added to the lower funds is a lockout from regional and state transportation improvement program funds. STIP and RSTIP were sources of money that had been available to Goleta and other local jurisdictions for road and pavement projects, but Councilman Roger Aceves said they’re now inaccessible because the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments — administrators of Measure A funds — elected to use the money for the Highway 101 HOV project, a Measure A priority, which had become underfunded.

The result is that the city, used to spending about $1 million for roads and pavement work every year, now will get that amount over the next five years.

“What you’ll see is a different expenditure program putting less investment into pavement rehab,” Wagner said.

Meanwhile, as part of the required Maintenance of Effort spending, an effort to stop local agencies from using Measure A funds to replace their historical spending on projects, Goleta is required to maintain $576,000 worth of discretionary spending.

There is a little bit of wiggle room, however, according to Wagner. Redevelopment Agency funds pegged for street work may count as part of the discretionary spending needed to meet the MOE. He said the city is allowed to amend its program of projects as needed.

The repair and removal of oilworks in the city is progressing smoothly, as planning staff earlier in the evening gave a report on efforts to reabandon old structures and repair those that present public hazards.

Planners Laura Vlk and Anne Wells said the oil piers east of Haskells Beach are being cleaned up and repaired. The onshore facilities, known as Pier 421-1 and 421-2, were once active in the 1940s but pulled from production in 1994 after a well head leak. Since then, the wells have slowly deteriorated and have been the subject of repair efforts.

Currently, work is being done to replace and remove old pier pilings, eroded by rust and damaged by storms.

Also, several wells on the Ellwood Mesa have received the go-ahead from the California Coastal Commission for removal, with groundbreaking scheduled for June.

The three oil wells were part of what once was a very active oil extraction activity in the area in the 1920s, were plugged by 1951, but changes in standards require the wells to be reabandoned with modern practices. Also scheduled for removal are five water wells and one monitoring well. The project is expected to take about eight weeks to complete.

Additionally, other oil-related structures at the Mesa are being eyed for removal.

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

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