By Geghard ARAKELIAN
During the Feb. 18 Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting Los Angeles County officials addressed key issues about the recent rainfall that hit La Crescenta. Supervisor Michael Antonovich commended citizens and officials for their organizational efforts before addressing attendees’ concerns about the rain.
In his remarks, the supervisor thanked Vice President Steven Goldsworthy and President Cheryl Davis of the CVTC, as well as editor of the Crescenta Valley Weekly Robin Goldsworthy.
“We just want to thank Steve for the leadership and care and Cheryl [for] being at all of the press conferences that we had. And Robin for disseminating that information as to the evacuations,” said Antonovich. “We still had problems but because of your preparation we limited those problems.”
Citing another time in Crescenta Valley’s past when wet weather caused an excess of debris to flow down the hillsides, the county official warned of boulders, saying these past rocks “destroyed life and property … so that’s what we are expecting [in the future].”
He went on to speak of the cleanup crews working to empty the debris basins and the subsequent noise complaints from local residents.
“There was an article about some of the noise because of the trucks but those trucks are trying to keep the basins empty,” said Antonovich. “It’s a necessary evil.”
Another concern addressed by the supervisor was the limitations of the dirt-loading trucks working on the debris basins. “We had received an email from one person that they noticed that some of the trucks weren’t always filled to the top,” said Antonovich. “One of the problems is the weight on your roads. You have weight limitations and the water is very heavy.”
Gary Hildebrand of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works also spoke at the council meeting to provide more information about the cleanup process.
“Our efforts right now are to try and clean out the debris basins and obviously there’s more material up there,” said Hildebrand. “Then some of these very large rocks and boulders are … a safety issue, too.”
Another problem facing the Department of Public Works is the finite number of locations to dump debris from the basins. According to Hildebrand, the DPW has begun talks with local landfill owners and is looking to utilize a property purchased years ago to help with the disposal of sediments.
Hildebrand stressed that prudence is at the forefront of their operations when it comes to finding sites to drop off basin debris. “Right now we have capacity but the issue is looking over the next five years with the facilities we have and the amount of debris we expect we’re going to fill those facilities [with],” said Hildebrand. “We need to look ahead and find, in advance, additional locations to take materials.”
Antonovich spoke of $150,000 in funding from parks and recreation to study a layout of existing trails and adding new ones in La Crescenta.
“There will be a significant community outreach to find out your input so that we could move forward on that,” said Antonovich.
Paul Rabinov of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy was elated to tell the council of the new bike lanes in La Crescenta.
“We are so thankful and excited. La Crescenta is very happy to have bike lanes. I’ve seen more people using the street [for] cycling than I have in the past,” said Rabinov. “As a cyclist it’s way more comfortable to ride on Foothill as it was previously.”
In other news, students from Crescenta Valley High School are organizing a car wash to help raise funds for the family of a student whose father passed away after being struck by a car in Montrose.
“The different clubs are putting on the car wash. I think it’s wonderful – students rallying to help other students,” said Harriet Hammons, assistant troop master for Boy Scout Troop 303.
The car wash will be this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. If it rains, the car wash will be moved to March 6.
Students will charge $6 per car and will accept any other donations. The fund raiser will take place at the Crescenta Valley High School parking lot on Ramsdell Avenue, below Office Depot.