The following is from the Feb. 7 Laguna Niguel City Council meeting.

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SDG&E vows to remove 42 poles

Duane Cave, San Diego Gas & Electric senior project manager in external affairs, unveiled a $20-million project to the council, which would include the removal of 42 power poles and re-route both power lines underground in the city. Only two poles would remain.

Cave said the city has had problems with erosion and slippage, since the transmission line runs through three canyons, forcing poles to be taken down and installed in locations further from slopes. Judging by the past two rainy seasons, he said, further slope failure is imminent.

If one transmission line was lost, customers could lose power for days or even weeks, he said.

The loss of both lines could result in extended outages affecting as many as 38,000 customers in the community.

The project is expected to take several months. Cabling will start in August and trenching and the removal of wires and poles is estimated to begin in November. Cave said the project is expected to be done in December.

Councilman Robert Ming said the project will be very good for the community, and he was pleased that the city's lines are almost entirely underground.

Councilman Joe Brown agreed, indicating that the project will benefit the city aesthetically and in other ways.

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Community room rental policy OKd

After much discussion, the City Council ultimately agreed on a set of rules for the community room at City Hall.

The council approved the user groups detailed in the staff report, which would include resident nonprofit organizations, governmental organizations and community interest groups.

Groups can use the room for free during normal working hours and a fee schedule was approved for weekend and evening use.

The full room would cost $80 an hour, and there would be either a $500 deposit for full room use or a $300 deposit for using half the room.

Councilman Linda Lindholm objected to the use of alcohol in the room, which was initially introduced. A 3-2 vote solidified that alcohol would not be allowed.

The room cannot be used when City Council or committee meetings are in place.

Groups can use the room four hours a month, either spread out or in one block, and reservations can only be made for three months at a time in order to avoid a group taking a time slot for a significant amount of time.

City Manager Tim Casey said applications will be accepted, but the city has yet to create a process, such as a web page on the city website, to apply. Anyone interested can contact City Hall at (949) 362-4300.

joanna.clay@latimes.com

Twitter: @joannaclay