<i>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. </i>

CITY HALL — First it was Main Street, then came Fourth Street. Now the recent wave of road repavement projects will come to Downtown.

The City Council tonight is expected to allocate roughly $607,000 to resurface a set of streets in the Bayside District, including Fifth and Sixth streets from Colorado Avenue to Wilshire Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard from Fifth Street to Lincoln Boulevard.

The project is part of an estimated $3 million spending package the council is set to approve.

Silvia Construction Inc. is slated to receive the contract for the project, which will be paid through mostly federal Surface Transportation Program funds — money set aside for maintenance and upgrade of local streets. About 11 percent will be covered by locally-matched funds.

Work will include cold-milling, rubberized asphalt overlay, restriping, and sidewalk, curb and gutter removal and reconstruction.

Ensuring payroll compliance

In preparation for a series of affordable housing developments that are expected to break ground starting next month, the council is expected to bring in a firm that will make sure construction workers hired for the projects are paid an established prevailing wage.

Comprehensive Housing Services Inc. and AmeriNational Community Services Inc. are slated to receive a combined $250,000 contract to monitor compliance for various developments and parking structures funded by City Hall.

Local, state and federal laws require that construction workers hired for projects funded by taxpayer money be paid a prevailing wage. Penalties for noncompliance includes fines and the possibility of City Hall shelling out the difference in the payroll.

“To mitigate these risks on affordable housing and redevelopment-related projects, the city has hired firms that specialize in prevailing wage monitoring for at least 10 years,” the city staff report said.

Approximately 11 affordable housing projects are expected to undergo construction, including improvements to Mountain View Mobile Home Park, and nine apartment buildings that will be rehabbed by nonprofit developers. A series of construction projects are also slated to begin for the parking garages, including the renovation of the two structures adjacent to Santa Monica Place.

Landscape maintenance at the cemetery

ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance, which has been providing upkeep for the grounds at Woodlawn Cemetery since 2007, is expected to see its contract continue for another six month.

The extension, which will cost City Hall about another $225,000, will include a 4.6 percent living wage increase that was inadvertently left out of the contract when it was previously adjusted.

Under the revised terms, the contract will expire in June. City Hall does have the option of renewing annually for up to four years.

Going digital

A contract with PC Imaging, which has been converting paper property records into digital formats, is slated to increase by $75,000 because of a higher than expected scanning volume this fiscal year.

The company was hired in February 2006 to scan, index and import all permit and planning documents predating July 2007. Its contract was then expanded for another three years beginning in October 2007 to continue scanning documents on an ongoing basis.

At the time the contract was extended, city staff said it was difficult to estimate the scope of the project.

A city staff report said that it has become apparent that additional funding is needed to cover the cost of scanning the remaining archived records and new documents that the Planning and Community Development Department continues to receive in hard copy.

Maintaining Big Blue Bus

The council is expected to approve two spending items designed to keep the Big Blue Bus fleet in running shape.

United Transmission Exchange is slated to receive a $630,000 contract to remanufacture and install the bus transmissions. The contract is good for three years and comes with three, one-year renewal options.

“The remanufacturing of transmissions for transit coaches is necessary as a normal part of wear and tear of a bus,” the city staff report said. The Allison brand transmissions are used in 135 of the 197 buses with the public transit agency.

Carlos Guzman Inc. is also expected to receive a $1.2 million contract to provide body repair and paint service to the buses. The one-year contract comes with three, one-year renewal options.

Moving forward with new park

City Hall is planning on seeking state grants to help pay for the new Palisades Garden Walk in the Civic Center area.

The council is expected to pass a resolution that would authorize the city manager to submit a grant application to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, asking for about $15.5 million that would help cover the design, site preparation and construction of the 6-acre park, which will be located off Main Street.

If City Hall receives the grant, it will be responsible for funding the remainder of the project cost. The project is estimated at about $20.8 million.


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