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City Council funds fire station, transit center

The San Diego City Council began the new fiscal year Tuesday with moves to create a new public transit center, fire station, scuba diving site and electrical-vehicle charging stations.

Among other things, the city approved a state grant for $499,755 to fund 41 recharging stations for electric vehicles. The grant from the California Energy Commission will be matched by a $218,773 in-kind grant from the city for land and administration costs and $218,733 from San Diego Gas & Electric for equipment and services.

Including the San Diego grant, the Energy Commission has approved 15 grants totaling more than $5 million to install 475 electric vehicle chargers in San Francisco, Burbank and Torrance, and the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles.

Other council actions included:

• Authorizing $800,000 in excess funds from a redevelopment bond to resume building a three-story fire station at Pacific Highway and Cedar Street.

Work on the fire station began in 2005 but was halted in 2011 because the state redevelopment program that backed the building was halted. If the state Department of Finance approves the use of the bonds, the project could be finished by September 2016.

• Paying $700,000 to the San Diego Association of Governments to build a community transit station off Interstate 15 in Miramar to serve as a hub for local bus services, carpoolers and FasTrak users.

• Approving the sinking of a decommissioned Canadian Navy destroyer in the San Diego Underwater Recreation Area off Mission Beach, with hopes of attracting scuba divers.

Pending approval from the California Coastal Commission, the 366-foot ship would be cleaned and stripped of paint before being towed to San Diego and sunk with explosives early next year.

Another Canadian ship, the HMCS Yukon, has been a popular attraction with scuba divers since it was submerged in the recreation area in 2000, although it has also been the site of several deaths.

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