Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 12/20/2009 09:25:18 PM PST

CLAREMONT – Like many cities in California, city and school board officials contend that budgetary issues will be at the top of their agendas in 2010.

“The big stuff for us is going to be No.1. We start our budget process for our two-year budget come January,” Claremont City Manager Jeff Parker said.

“Obviously, we’re working on that with the economics of today.”

The city will first have to deal with additional impacts from the state budget cuts, Parker said. He also strongly criticized lawmakers in Sacramento and the impact of their actions on Claremont.

“Are we going to have to make any cuts because of their incompetency?” Parker asked.

There are plans in the city for a project that will widen sidewalks, replace trees and add street lights to Claremont Village, Parker said.

But the work won’t take too much of a financial hit. Claremont was awarded $948,746 in funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act toward the $1.2 million project, and the remaining cost will be paid for with money from gas tax funds.

The city will use the money to enhance and improve the Village area east of Indian Hill Boulevard, south of Bonita Avenue, west of Harvard Avenue and north of First Street.

Included in the project is a portion of Harvard from Fourth Street to Bonita as well as Foothill Boulevard between Mountain and Towne avenues.

Handicap ramps, sidewalk areas and drive approaches will be replaced and removed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Claremont Unified School District Superintendent Terry Nichols agreed with Parker about the importance that the budget will play in 2010 for the school district.

“It’s the budget. What’s really going to come forth? One of our main concerns is January when we will know more information about our next steps,” Nichols said.

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