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City to Add Repairs for Laguna Niguel's Oldest Park to Budget

Residents around La Plata Park have gotten the renovation added to the 2011-12 budget.

The city has decided to pony up $301,000 to repair , the city's oldest, in response to complaints from several residents about the condition of its slopes and vegetation. 

"We're not at risk of actually losing the slopes, but geo-engineers have advised us to stop watering them to decrease the rate of sloughage," said  "This is also causing us to lose some of the vegetation, though." 

He said the dead vegetation is making the park less than "what we consider Laguna Niguel park standards."   

Rogers said all of the money for repairs will go to redoing the landscape—regrading the hills, irrigation and planting new vegetation—and not for such items as playground equipment. 

The city has also decided to complete the repairs in one undertaking rather than in several installments.

"This $301,000 represents the full list of things that the neighbors have asked us to undertake, as opposed to piecemealing it," said City Manager "We spent some time debating internally about whether we should break that amount up into two years at $150,000 or three years at $100,000, and we finally concluded that we should really only disturb that park once to get it over with and get it done." 

La Plata Park improvement committee member Paul Whitelock, a resident of the Niguel Hills development where the park is located, said he was happy to see the onetime approach to the repairs during the City Council's budget discussion.

The budget has not been finalized, so the repairs are not yet assured, but according to Casey, the project has a great deal of support from the council and the community, so he is hopeful that it will proceed as planned. 

If it is approved, Rogers said, the bidding for contractors will most likely start in the fall, and construction will probably not begin until spring 2012, as the ground must be fully dry before construction can begin.

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