City Council Approves Sales Tax Incentive Deal With Cabe Toyota

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

The Long Beach City Council on May 10 approved long time auto dealer Cabe Toyota for the city’s sales tax incentive agreement program. The program allows businesses which expand or remodel, and which generate above $5 million in taxable sales, to share up to 50 percent of the sales tax generated in excess of a predetermined sales tax base.

The dealership, which opened in 1966 and employs more than 80 people, requested support from the city in order to remodel and expand its operation at 2895 Long Beach Blvd. The expansion is expected to cost at least $3 million.

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State Water Board Grants $3.3 Million For Colorado Lagoon Restoration Efforts

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

The California State Water Resources Control Board has approved $3.3 million in funding to be used for dredging, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials in the cleanup phase of the ongoing Colorado Lagoon Restoration Project.

The lagoon project includes upgrading storm drains, cleaning an underground culvert and providing landscape improvements. The final phase involves expanding an open channel 230 feet wide and building two road bridges, allowing for a tidal flush to clean and restore the deteriorated habitat.

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School District Cuts Nearly 10 Percent Of Workforce

Fewer Teachers, Larger Classes Planned For New School Year

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

In response to the lack of a finalized state budget, the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Board of Education approved final layoff notices for 789 certificated employees – about 10 percent of the district’s workforce – on May 10.

The job cuts, which mostly affect teachers without seniority, were approved in an effort to deal with California’s ongoing cuts for public school funding. In the past three years, LBUSD cut more than $200 million from its budget. These latest layoff notices were approved in order to meet the state-mandated deadline of May 15.

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State Treasurer Warns Of Port Project Delays Over Fiscal Crisis

Bill Lockyer Addresses Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Before a room full of international trade executives and officials, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer forewarned of major infrastructure projects – including the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project – either being delayed or halted if the state budget doesn’t pass this year.

Lockyer referred to the $950 million bridge project during an industry luncheon in mid April presented by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. The event at the Hyatt Regency hotel was attended by roughly 250 people connected to the maritime trade industry.

By all accounts, local, federal and state grants have already been committed for the highly lauded bridge project. The infrastructure improvement is a joint effort between the Port of Long Beach and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), along with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The project, according to port officials, is slated to begin construction either later this year or early 2012. However, Lockyer said the project is “on a list – a wish list.” He added, “Maybe by 2016 it will be completed, but it’s not on any Caltrans list at the moment.”

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