Local heroes were honored and the city’s annual budget was passed during Wednesday’s city council meeting.
The council (Mayor Don Garcia was absent from the meeting) passed the proposed annual budget, which will result in a $24.7 million fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2012-13.
The council approved changes to the budget, which was originally discussed on May 2. Changes include additional funding for Aliso Viejo Ranch and Town Center Loop enhancements as well as looking into a few traffic modifications. The additional Aliso Viejo Ranch enhancements total $315,000 and the Town Center Loop Trail will receive an additional $50,000 to include seating and trash receptacles along the trail. An additional $25,000 was approved for traffic modifications.
With this additional funding reserved for the specified projects the fund balance will see an increase of $690,000 by the end of the fiscal year.
The meeting began with several special recognitions. The first was to resident Genevieve Segura whose quick thinking saved the life of many residents and animals. While walking her dog Segura smelled smoke so she called the fire department. Faulty lighting on a fish tank had started a fire in a nearby residential building.
Fire fighters who reported to the scene said if the call had come in just 10 minutes later the building would have been engulfed in flames.
Mayor Pro Tem William Phillips thanked Segura for her quick thinking, which saved not only the property and lives of the residents, but also the dog that was hiding under the bed when the fire started and all the fish in the tank.
Sergeant Dave Harrington was recognized for receiving the medal of merit and deputies Eric Brown and Steve Yannizzi were honored for receiving the medal of lifesaving.
Brown and Yannizzi performed CPR, saving the life of Nadia Attalla who had suffered a heart attack. Attalla was in a coma for two months after the heart attack, but was able to thank the deputies, for the first time in person, during Wednesday’s meeting.
Eight speakers approached the city council during the public comments portion of the evening to express their concern for the safety of Aliso Viejo residents, who live with 50 miles of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Clemente.
San Clemente Green co-founder Gary Headrick said the group is concerned that Southern California Edison will restart the power plant (which was shut down in January after a ) before they fully understand and repair and the damaged to the steam generators.
“Think what the people in Japan would give to be in our position and be able to plan for the worst,” said Laurie Headrick.
Gary said they would like the Aliso Viejo City Council to invite them to return to give a detailed presentation of their concerns. San Clemente Green is currently making its way to city councils within 50-miles of San Onofre making the same request.