Englander Calls for City to Support County State of Emergency Proclamation & Lists Demands of SoCal Gas
Posted by Councilmember Englander on January 08, 2016 at 12:00 PM
This Tuesday, I submitted four emergency motions all of which were approved immediately in City Council relating to the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) Aliso Canyon Gas Leak which has persisted 55 days. The motions cover four major aspects of the crisis: support for the County’s Declaration of a State of Emergency, relocation efforts, residential tax relief and business tax relief.
The first resolution supports the County Board of Supervisors’ Proclamation of Existence of a Local Emergency and Request for a State Proclamation. The resolution urges Governor Jerry Brown to declare a Local Emergency to expedite access to State and Federal resources and any other appropriate Federal Disaster Relief programs.
Due to the mass relocation of residents, short term health effects experienced and the poor air quality in the vicinity of the gas leak, compounded by the uncertainty as to when a solution will be reached, it is imperative that the Governor step in and declare a local emergency so this community can receive the resources it needs.
The second motion addresses the shortcomings of the SoCal Gas Company relocation process and asks that their Relocation Plan be amended to include many provisions, including:
Incentives to landlords to enter into short-term leases, including premiums, if necessary to provide comparable housing
Immediate cash compensation for those who cannot be immediately moved, upon request, to comparable housing
Compensation for households who have relocated with relatives or friends for the disruption to their lives
Provision of out-of-pocket health-related costs to relocated residents or those declining relocation to assess current or on-going health effects
Food allowance per diem – even for those relocated to properties with kitchen facilities
Provision for moving companies to help relocate residents
Per diems for pets that may not be allowed in relocated housing
Private security patrols 24/7 for vacant residences so as not to put an undue burden on LAPD
Provision of maintenance and landscaping services for vacated properties
Particular assistance for seniors or the disabled who have special needs and may not drive or be able to easily relocate
Monetary consideration and accommodation for residents that receive assisted nursing services in their homes
Reimbursement for additional transportation costs related to relocating farther away from places of employment or schools
The Cessation of billing all residents in the affected area for natural gas services until the resolution of this event
The third motion requests the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor to make available Revenue and Tax code section 170 relief – a program that provides property tax relief and is normally available if property is damaged or destroyed by a calamity.
The fourth motion requests the Office of Finance to immediately begin work with the Franchise Tax Board to assess options for Business Tax Relief related to the Porter Ranch Gas Leak, including a Disaster-Related Tax Deduction.
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