CITY HALL — City Council is expected to buy itself an early Christmas present at its meeting tonight, approving the purchase of a $257,000 audio and visual system for the council’s chambers.

The new gear would replace a 10-year-old system that “has become unreliable and increasingly unsupportable,” according to a city staff report.

The proposed system is manufactured by Spinitar and would provide enhanced projection quality, touch-panel monitors, wall-mounted flat-screen displays and better sound quality, according to the report by David Yeskel, a City Hall systems analyst.

The total cost of $256,850 includes a 10 percent contingency allowance and one year of maintenance.

The new system is part of a $641,850 spending package included on the agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting.

<i>New drug test provider </i>

Pre-employment medical exams and drug and alcohol testing for city employees will be conducted by a new medical group under a proposed contract expected to be approved by council tonight.

The proposed contract for $220,000 is with Westchester Medical Group Center for Heart and Health. The group would replace Santa Monica Bay Physicians Medical Group, which for the past five years has conducted City Hall’s pre-employment medical examinations.

<i>Interior decorating</i>

When employees of City Hall’s Business & Revenue Operations Division move into new office space in January they’ll have $165,000 worth of matching new furniture, under a proposed contract with Knoll Products expected to be approved tonight.

The new office space consists of 6,500 square feet at 1717 Fourth Street that City Council leased for the division in March.

<i>Positive cash flow</i>

The council is expected to approve a 30-month lease extension for the city-owned property at 1800 Stewart St.

The extension will allow the lessee, CF Santa Monica Office V.I., LP, to continue to negotiate to sublease the space to Agensys, a Santa Monica biotech firm specializing in cancer-fighting drug treatments.

Under the suggested agreement, the lease termination date would be extended from July 1, 2030 to Jan. 1, 2033. The lessee currently pays the city $866,000 per year to lease 124,000 square feet.

The council is also expected to approve an air rights licensing agreement that would bring City Hall $54,280 in revenue.

The proposed agreement is related to a three-level pedestrian bridge the developers of the new Travelodge Hotel are seeking to incorporate into their project. The bridge would connect portions of the 164-room hotel, slated for construction at 1515-1525 Ocean Ave. and 1530 Second St.

The proposed agreement is for air and subsurface rights related to the project for a 75-year period.

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