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Landmarks, merit bonus on agenda for council and commission

Oak Park Cemetery, the farmers’ market and community block grants are among items on Claremont commission and council agendas this week.

The Claremont City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22  to discuss a $137,204 budget for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), supporting city and countywide programs and projects dedicated to helping low-income individuals. As a federal block grant program, CDBG receives grant funding from Los Angeles County on a yearly basis in order to continue its operations. This year, the city is proposing that $60,000 of its grant money be allocated to housing rehabilitation, $20,580 for senior case management and $56,624 for job creation and business incentive.

In addition to CDBG budget approval, the Claremont City Council will vote on authorizing a merit bonus of $10,048.50 for City Manager Tony Ramos, as well as the cash out of 2 weeks vacation pay to the tune of $7,729.66 for a total of $17,778.16 in addition to his annual salary.

According to a 3-year contract approved in late 2011, Mr. Ramos makes a yearly income of $198,000. He also receives an additional $1000 a month in deferred compensation plus an extra $1194 monthly to be used for medical benefits. Fifty percent of the medical benefits that remain unused will be placed in Mr. Ramos’ deferred compensation plan. Mr. Ramos’ total for salary plus benefits is $224,328 annually.

Council members directed city attorneys to prepare a resolution approving merit awards for the city manager after conducting an employee evaluation earlier this month.

The council will also conduct a second public hearing for a proposed franchise agreement between the city and the Southern California Gas company as well as review a request to award a sewer master plan and connection fee study, necessary to evaluate the utility and provide an update the city’s current sewer plan, to AKM Consulting Engineers.

The city’s farmers’ market may receive an upgrade with the approval of the Claremont Traffic and Transportation Commission this Thursday, January 25. It is being proposed that the marketplace be expanded along Second Street through Indian Hill to Oberlin Avenue, located in Village West. The traffic and transportation will vote on the expansion at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 225 W. Second Ave.

In other city business, the parks, hillsides and utilities committee will decide on pricing for plots at the newly-expanded Oak Park Cemetery. Expansion of the historical city cemetery began last October after receiving council approval nearly a year prior. The expansion will include developing nearly an acre of space, generating an estimated 732 in-ground burial plots and a wall with 300 cremation spaces. The committee will review staff’s recommendation to allow double burials to maximize space as well as review pricing.

Staff is proposing that cremation spaces be sold for $965 to $1076. The higher spots on the wall will be higher in value because of the greater visibility. A $380 inurnment fee will also be charged, or $550 for disinurnment and $170 for perpetual care of the space. The price of a full grave space will range from $3299 to $3679, depending on the area and a double interment would range from $6164 to $6540. The committee will review the pricing at 5 p.m. at the Community Services Department building, 1616 Monte Vista Ave., before the item goes on for commission and council approval.

All city council and commission agendas are available for viewing on the city website. For more information on city meetings, visit www.ci.claremont.ca.us.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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