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Instructor Patrick Massey (right) teaches student Sabrina Khalili at the Reed Park tennis courts on Monday. The City Council tonight is expected to $815,000 on improvements at the park. (photo by Brandon Wise)

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 — Reed Park is getting a makeover.

Frequented by homeless individuals who push heavy shopping carts through the park, causing damage to the grass, officials are hoping a new toddler playground, a new garden adjacent to Miles Playhouse and “enhanced landscaping” along Wilshire Boulevard will cut down on what a City Hall report calls “undesired activity” at the park.

The City Council is expected to approve an $815,000 contract with Acon Development Inc. for the improvements at its meeting tonight. Reed Park is located on 5.3-acres at Wilshire and Lincoln boulevards.

The park beautification project is part of a $2.8 million spending plan included on the council’s consent agenda.

City Hall employees may have misbehaved more often than usual in the past year (or maybe their bosses were unreasonably strict.) In any case, the council is being asked to approve an additional $55,000 for Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, the law firm that handles employee disciplinary matters for City Hall.

This is the second increase in the past 12 months for the firm, a City Hall report stated, which brings its total contract amount to $255,000.

“This fiscal year, there was an unusual volume of complex personnel litigation early in the year,” the report stated, and “the workload in this area remains higher than anticipated.”

As part of the Woodlawn Cemetery Conversion Office Project, the council on Tuesday is supposed to approve a deal to turn an unused first-floor office into a columbarium, or vault for urns.

The proposed conversion contract with Carrier Mausoleum Construction U.S.A. is for $315,270. After completion, the columbarium will provide 367 additional niches for remains, which would generate $2 million in revenue for the cemetery, according to a City Hall report.

The council is also expected to approve a one-year extension to a contract with The West Coast Care Foundation, which partners with the Santa Monica Police Department to provide homeless outreach services.

The foundation focuses on getting homeless individuals into housing, shelter facilities or medical facilities, and works to return them to their families or other caregivers.

The proposed contact, for $246,250, is a 1.5 percent decrease from the amount West Coast Care was paid this fiscal year.

The council is also expected to award a $60,000 contract to publish legal notices to the Santa Monica Daily Press. Three other local newspapers — the Santa Monica Mirror, the Observer Newspaper and the Argonaut — also bid on the contract.

The council also is likely to approve a $52,925 contract amendment with Tennant Sales and Service Co. for maintenance and parts for four sweepers used to clean the Third Street Promenade and a solid waste unit. The revision would bring the company’s total contract to $148,775.

The council is also expected to approve a $662,000 contract with JAS Pacific, Inc. for planning, plan check, code enforcement, inspection and permit administration services.

JAS employees help City Hall staff during periods of staff vacancies and peak workload demands, as well as for plan check services which require specialized expertise, according to a City Hall report.

Also on Tuesday, the council is expected to approve a $639,348 contract with Aramark Uniform Services for seven years of uniform and floor mat rental and cleaning services.

nickt@smdp.com

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