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By Jim Shilander

After taking the first scheduled meeting of August off for vacation, the San Clemente City Council will take up a number of items at its meeting Tuesday at City Hall, including a proposed increase to the Clean Ocean Fee paid by the city’s property owners.

The council will be asked to approve a proposal to continue and increase the Clean Ocean Fee paid by city property owners. Continuing the fee must also be approved in a vote-by-mail of the city’s property owners. The ballots are currently scheduled to be sent out on October 25, with ballots to be returned by December 10.

The fee has not been increased since it was initially put in place at $5.02 per month for asingel family home on a public street in 2003. It was renewed in 2007. The Public Works Department has indicated the city cannot continue its current level of work, however, with the current fee amount. An increase, to either $6.23 per month for a single family residence on a public street ($5.10 for a private street) for six-and-a-half years or $6.26 ($5.13 for a private street) per month for 10.5 years. Both would fully fund the city’s current efforts. Another option would be to increase the fee and reduce a “capital” program, with a gradual reduction in efforts at Poche Beach and comprehensive load reduction plan.

The lower fee amount for private streets has to do with participation in the city’s street cleaning program.

The Coastal Advisory Commission in July recommended the option to fully fund for six-and-a-half years.

The Courtney’s SandCastle Foundation is also scheduled to ask the council to accept a $340,000 donation for the second phase of the universal access playground located at Vista Hermosa Sports Park. The city previously approved providing a $110,000 matching fund for the project last year.

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