Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of public discussion in the past.
CITY HALL — City Council will consider spending $3.4 million Tuesday on new parking payment systems at 14 city parking lots including the Downtown parking structures.
There are about 9 million parking transactions made annually through the current parking system, city officials said. That system is old and needs to be replaced. Contingent upon future council approval, the contract could total $5 million and include 10 years of maintenance.
Early last year, the selection committee recommended a vendor but Sentry Control, one of the competing bidders, notified city officials that one of the committee members from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation had a family member who was employed by the selected vendor.
City Hall threw out all the bids and went back to the drawing board, ultimately deciding to recommend DataPark for the job.
The parking lot upgrades make up most of the $5.73 million spending package on the council’s consent agenda.
Beach parking signs
Eleven real-time beach parking signs will likely be approved at a cost of $1.5 million. A majority of the cash will come from grants from the federal government and Metro, but Santa Monica taxpayers will drop $624,254 if approved.
You’ve seen the same signs at the Downtown parking structures; they let drivers know how many parking spaces are available at different lots. Select Electric will likely get the bid.
Public Works wants to set aside $80,000 in case the new Ken Genser Square fountain, or any of the Tongva Park water features, need non-warranty repairs and maintenance work. The fountain opened briefly last year but had several problems, including leaks and aesthetically unpleasant dribbling. City Hall shut it down for repairs and it’s still fenced off. Pending future council-approved contract extensions, Advanced Aquatic Technology would get nearly $400,000 for maintenance through June 2016.
A group of Municipal Employees’ Association (MEA) workers voted to be represented by the California Teamsters Local 911 Public, Professional & Medical Employees Union. A tentative agreement, reached last year, would roll over the previous MEA agreement to this year with a 1 percent cost of living increase. The total cost of the negotiated contract changes is $297,221.
City Hall wants to spend $98,600 on a contractor to temporarily fill a position in the Planning Department. The assistant director of the Planning Department retired at the end of last year and City Hall is currently in the process of filling that role but it could take three or four months. It’s a key time with major upcoming development agreements and the Draft Zoning Ordinance currently under review.
Meanwhile, the Office of Sustainability and the Environment is making a big move to 1717 Fourth St. and they need a contracted organizational review to the tune of $39,500.
Both contracts would go to Management Partners.
Next time you’re lost on the Third Street Promenade, you’ll be glad City Hall proposed spending $96,811 on two map cases and a 32-foot-tall way-finding pylon. AD/S Companies would likely get the contract. The maps and pylon would be in place by May on the north end of the promenade.
The soon-to-be-open Pico Branch Library needs another $41,345 for furniture. It got $156,000 for furniture last year, but it was determined that the library needs four “highly complicated book displays” and an improved color palette.
An $80,000 contract would fill some of City Hall’s tire needs for the year. Most of the tires, which would be purchased from Bryon Woodley Tire Co., are for police cruisers. The rest are for city vans and pick-up trucks.
Business license taxes
City Hall wants to modernize its business license tax program. They’d like to make it more business-friendly without hurting revenues. HdL Companies will likely determine if and how it’s possible. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 218 which, among other things, requires a public vote on any changes to public taxes. If City Hall decides to propose changes, they will likely appear on the ballot in November.
City Hall is a bit over budget on its traffic signal upgrades. It needs another $36,734 to complete a project that uses a variety of tools to monitor and improve traffic in the city by the sea. The traffic management system is currently 90 percent complete, officials said.
The historic preservation program needs another $40,000. Approval will bring the four-year contract total with PCR Services Corp. to $105,000.