In a last-minute move engineered by Santa Barbara City Councilmember Das Williams, the City Council voted to increase harbor slip fees by 2.5 percent, rather than the 5 percent initially proposed to subsidize pesticide-free maintenance in city parks. The council’s 4-to-3 vote came in the face of vehement opposition from boat owners who packed the Council Chambers Monday evening. The $96,000 raised by the slip fee increase will enable the Waterfront Department to pay the landscape maintenance costs for waterfront parking lots, previously borne by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. This newly available Parks Department funding will pay for the labor intensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, a pesticide-free method of maintaining city parks that has been pushed by Williams and fellow Councilmember Helene Schneider.

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