CITY wrap

In the middle of the local observance of Bicycle Month, the Glendale City Council Tuesday approved using $35,000 in grant funds to install a bike lane on Foothill Boulevard from Lowell Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue.
According to Public Works Director Steve Zurn, the lane will connect to a bikeway installed in the county’s portion of Foothill.
“We understand that La Cañada is also planning a bike lane, so eventually we will have a lane running the length of Foothill,” he said.
The council also approved $33,918 for bike racks at various locations in the city.
A number of special programs have been planned for Bike Month, including a bike to work program today, Thursday.

Glendale’s smart meter utility system will be in place well ahead of schedule, water and power general manager Glenn Steiger told the City Council at a recent meeting.
Steiger said the new electric and water meters would be in place by the end of 2011, two years ahead of schedule. The whole Smart Grid system, at a cost of $71 million, will be completed by 2015.
The Smart Meters will enable residents to know the status of their utility use and make adjustments. It will also allow the utility to adjust usage and avoid outages.
Mayor Ara Najarian said he wanted the council members to be on the grid as soon as possible, to allow them to evaluate the rollout. Steiger said the system will be put in using neighborhood blocks, and he promised to keep the council members’ meters from violating state open meetings laws. “The meters can talk to each other,” he said.
The power utility will continue to transfer assets to the general fund, $19 million in the coming year. The transfer is mandated in the city charter.
As far as water use is concerned, Steiger said Glendale customers have exceeded the mandatory 10% reduction imposed by the city. They have exceeded it to the point where the utility will need a small rate increase to meet expenses.
GWP will have a limited amount of capital work in the next five years, with the exception of the Smart Grid. A project to drill a working well in the Rockhaven property may be pushed back in time, although a test well was successful.
By Charles Cooper