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 — Operating a vehicle without a seat belt might be a well-known illegal offense but drivers in Santa Monica will still get a reminder.

The Santa Monica Police Department will launch a new “Click It or Ticket” program that aims to educate the community on the state’s seat belt law and step up enforcement for four weeks over the next year.

The program will be funded through a $22,270 grant from the University of California’s Berkeley Traffic Safety Center and will cover overtime and administrative costs to carry out enforcement.

The City Council on Tuesday is expected to authorize City Manager Lamont Ewell to accept the no-match grant and appropriate funds for the program. It’s part of the meeting’s consent agenda which also includes a $450,903 spending package.

The seat belt campaign will involve two, two-week periods when the SMPD will increase enforcement of the law. There will be at least one nighttime enforcement operation during each of the two-week periods.

The program will also include a public information component.

“These strategies are designed to earn media attention thus enhancing compliance,” a city staff report said.

Mapping changes for Civic Center

In anticipation of more than $100 million of projects in and around the Civic Center, a Northern California-based firm has been hired to survey and map all the utilities, easements and parcels that fall within the area.

Mid-Valley Engineer, which came on board in April, just completed the first phase of its contract with City Hall, mapping the areas comprised of the Civic Center, including the proposed Exposition Light Rail Terminus Plaza, Interstate 10, the Holiday Inn and Sears properties, and Colorado Avenue, all at a cost of $66,410.

The firm is expected to receive a $67,350 contract to begin the second phase, which will include a detailed topographic survey listing the individual components of the area, serving as the base documents for all future buildings, according to the staff report.

The Civic Center is slated to see a series of major changes over the next several years, including the creation of the Palisades Garden Walk across from City Hall, the renovation of the historic Civic Auditorium, and a new Early Childhood Education Center. Santa Monica High School, which sits on the other side of the Civic Center, is also scheduled to be renovated with new classrooms and athletic facilities.

Taking back a contract

The council is expected to rescind a $190,000 contract for a fire station alerting system after negotiations failed with the vendor that won the bid last spring.

The contract negotiations with Westnet delayed following the council’s approval in May, leading city staff to doubt the company’s interest in delivering the system on time. City staff is now recommending that the contract be given to Advanced Electronics, which will supply the alerting system for $153,553.

Maintenance of the system will cost $12,960 annually for years two through five.

Space needed at city yards

A new master plan is in the works for the Santa Monica City Yards where the lack of space has become a concern.

RNL Interplan is expected to receive a $230,000 contract to develop a new master plan that will addresses these issues at the 10-acre facility at 2500 Michigan Ave.

The firm has experience in Santa Monica, having worked on the Big Blue Bus Expansion Master Plan, the LNG/CNG Fuel and Wash Facility for the Big Blue Bus and the most recent master plan for the City Yards in 2002.

The facility has been used by City Hall since the 1940s and the various divisions of the yard, which include Solid Waste Management, have outgrown the space.

“Subsequently, user needs, space limitations, updated regulatory requirements and the condition of the facilities have continued to change requiring significant updates to the Master Plan Report,” the staff report said.


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