Residents who live near the Burbank armory on Valhalla Drive unloaded on Burbank city officials last week, accusing the shelter’s operators, the Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles and EIMAGO Inc., of failing to follow through on promises to keep transient clients off the surrounding streets and confined to the bus-in, bus-out system.
With the issue now firmly injected into the April 14 Burbank City Council election campaign, the decision to temporarily take the armory off line appeared poised to at least cool the debate.
“I guess it makes it a little bit easier to have someone else make the decision for us,” said Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski, who is running for reelection.
Both military units that operate out of the Burbank armory are scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East this summer for roughly one year, Ellsworth said.
An armory, when activated, is unavailable to the public to make sure the site remains secure, he added.
Glendale was home to the regional county shelter for more than 10 years, until two years ago when its armory was closed for renovations and asbestos removal.
Burbank stepped in, but the patience of the surrounding neighborhood began to fray as the number of walk-ins — which operators had said would not be allowed — increased from an average 10 people a night to about 30, according to a Union Rescue Mission report.
Several Burbank and Glendale city officials said Wednesday that they were unaware of any final decision on the part of the state National Guard to close the Burbank Armory, but would still engage in discussions on a possible joint-use site in the future.