Cars drive past one of the many potholes along Santa Monica Boulevard on Monday afternoon. The City Council is expected to approve tonight two contracts valued at roughly $1.5 million to improve the busy corridor. (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 — Santa Monica residents who face evictions can soon turn to one local organization to avoid life on the streets.

St. Joseph Center, which works with homeless and low-income families, is expected to enter an agreement with City Hall to carry out its Homeless Prevention & Rapid Rehousing Program, providing services such as case management and financial assistance to people who are in danger of losing their homes.

The contract with the Venice-based nonprofit, estimated at more than $530,000, is part of a $3.5 million spending package the City Council is scheduled to approve tonight.

The program will be funded through approximately $553,000 in federal funds that City Hall received earlier this year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The organization will partner with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

“St. Joseph Center has a strong history of providing case management, housing relocation and ongoing financial assistance to the target population,” the city staff report said.

The council is also expected to extend two contracts by a combined $35,000 for the new Homeless Management Information System.

Recommended in the Action Plan to Address Homelessness, the revamped information system is intended to bring City Hall into timely compliance with federal standards for data collection and analysis.

A contract with Bowman Systems LLC will need to increase by $20,000 to cover additional training and system administration support because of a recent vacancy. Another $15,000 is needed in a contract with consultant Chris Fonner to continue technical support of the current system during the transition.

Smoothing the cracks

The ride will soon be less bumpy on Santa Monica Boulevard.

A street improvement project is slated for the busy corridor from Lincoln to Cloverfield boulevards, repaving the road, repairing sidewalks and installing concrete gutters.

The council is expected to approve a $1.4 million contract with Silvia Construction and a $136,895 deal with Tetra Tech for project management.

The project will be funded by Proposition 1B and capital funds.

Educating students about the bay

Nonprofit organization Heal the Bay will continue teaching students in the local public and private schools about the marine environment in the Santa Monica Bay for another year.

The Santa Monica-based group is slated to receive a $50,000 extension in its contract with City Hall to continue offering educational programs for students in K-12 schools through June 30, 2010.

“Services include structured field trips to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and sponsorship of Santa Monica’s Coastal Cleanup Day and its associated public outreach,” a city staff report said.

Electrical capacity and more

The southeast corner of historic City Hall will welcome the addition of an electric room to support new offices and a data center in the old jail space.

Gonzalez Construction is expected to receive the $500,000 contract to build the electric room.

“The existing electrical room cannot be increased due to size limitations in City Hall,” the city staff report said.

The council is also scheduled to extend a contract with LA Cha Maintenance Co. to provide custodial services at the Public Safety Facility. The $176,157 contract will go through June 30, 2010.

A new asset management plan for the water and wastewater system could also be in the works. GHD Inc. is set to receive a $687,680 contract to prepare the plan, which city officials said will provide an “updated programmatic approach to ensure the long-term sustainability of the water and wastewater utility while meeting required levels of service in the most cost effective and efficient manner.”

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