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New fees pave way for taller downtown 

The San Luis Obispo City Council approved a developers’ fee for buildings taller than 50 feet to finance a new fire truck equipped with a 100-foot ladder, scheduled to be purchased next year. Citing the need to plan for a future with more high rises in the downtown area and Cal Poly, the council voted 4-1 to commit itself to a $1.89-per-square-foot fee for tall buildings to finance something grander than the 75-foot ladder engine the city uses now.


Though the purchase of the $1.04-million fire engine will be voted on at the next council meeting, members decided to set up the fee structure for a taller, bigger ladder engine now. City officials said after the meeting that the vote would probably smooth the way for approval of the engine.


Vice Mayor Allen K. Settle voted against the truck, citing the recession’s toll on the city’s finances.


“This is a good example of government buying something before it has the money,” Settle said. “Is anyone sure where our general fund finances will be in a year?”

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