Agoura Hills will survey residents again

Acorn Staff Writer

The city of Agoura Hills will soon conduct a survey of its residents and businesses.

"It’s a good way to see what’s on the mind of residents," said City Councilwoman Louise Rishoff, who proposed the idea.

Rishoff said she was overwhelmed by the 90 percent approval of the recent open space proposition, and wanted to see what people think about other things, such as traffic and other quality-of-life issues.

Mayor Pro Tem Denis Weber agreed with Rishoff, but wanted to take it one step further and include businesses as well as residents.

"It’s very important to know what people are really thinking," he said.

While details of how the survey will be conducted aren’t decided, the council voted to allocate $15,000 for the project.

The council also approved its midyear budget review, which increased revenue by $928,500 and raised various expenditures by $205,500.

"We have sufficient reserves, unprecedented in our city’s history, but also unprecedented obligations outstanding," said City Manager Dave Adams.

One of those obligations is the city’s contribution to the upcoming project to improve Kanan Road-101 Freeway interchange. The project is necessary to accommodate increased traffic, said Jim Thorsen, city engineer. Construction will begin in about two years and funds will be needed at that time, he said.

The cost of the project (to be shared with the MTA) was estimated at $21 million, said Mayor Ed Corridori. So far, the city has about $2 million of its half.

"I know we need the interchange … but it really troubles me that in today’s market we may be looking at $23 million," said Corridori, distressed over the city’s share of costs.

"When you look at the actual size of our city and the burden it places on each person, it seems grossly unfair that we have to pay even half for that interchange. Our percentage of use might be less than 50 percent," he said.

With the population of Agoura Hills at 21,000, Corridori calculated that the cost per person would be $500.

"Do I want to encumber the citizens of our city with this albatross?" he asked, saying that he was "between a rock and a hard place."

"I want to get the interchange fixed … but is the burden justifiable?" he asked.

City Councilman Jeff Reinhardt answered affirmatively.

"Right now, (the interchange) is malfunction junction," said Reihnardt.

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