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East Los Angeles cityhood gets boost from Schwarzenegger

June 7, 2010 |  7:05 pm
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday approved a $45,000 loan to help proponents of cityhood for East Los Angeles meet the costs of studies required before the issue can be put before the voters.

The money was originally requested to pay for a financial feasibility study, but delays by the Legislature meant cityhood backers had to cover those costs. However, the loan is still needed for other expenses, including a required environmental impact study, according to Benjamin Cardenas, president of the East Los Angeles Residents Assn.

``We’re very excited that the governor recognized the East Los Angeles community by making this investment,’’ said Cardenas, who estimated the cityhood issue could make it on the ballot in early 2011 if all studies are favorable.

The loan was part of a bill written by state Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Montebello), who said the voters should get to decide the proposal to create a city out of 7.5 square miles of unincorporated area that is home to 140,000 people.

``This means in all likelihood there is going to be an election,’’ Calderon predicted. ``It’s probably the final dollars needed to close the deal.’’

--Patrick McGreevy