The City Council tonight is expected to approve a contract to create new restrooms along the beachfront, replacing this older model used by these surfers Monday. (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 — Eight Santa Monica beach restrooms are about to get re-built —this time in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The City Council is expected to sign off on the $4.2 million project at its meeting tonight, approving a proposed construction contract with CWS Systems Inc.

Three of the restroom facilities set to be renovated are located north of the Santa Monica Pier on Palisades Beach Road; five of the restrooms are south of the pier on Ocean Front Walk.

The proposed restroom project is part of a $15.1 million spending package included on the council’s consent agenda for tonight’s meeting.

Also on the agenda is a $314,000 contract for a Diamond Contract Services to provide custodial services at the pier between October and the end of this fiscal year.

It would cost $506,000, or 61 percent more, for municipal employees to perform the work, a City Hall report stated. The council is expected to hire Diamond for three additional years, at a cost of $441,000 annually.

The same firm is also expected to win a custodial services contract to perform work at the Public Safety Facility. The total cost for a three and three-quarter year term is $832,000, substantially less than if the work was performed by City Hall employees, a report stated.

In a formerly controversial contract proposal, the council is expected to approve a $2 million deal to buy real-time digital signs for Big Blue Bus stops.

In accordance with Santa Monica’s boycott of Arizona businesses over that state’s recently adopted anti-illegal immigration law, recommended contractor Trapeze Software Group, which is based in Canada, has promised its Arizona office will not be involved with the project, according to City Hall.

The contract is for 94 signs, which will be built into the walls of bus stops and will inform passengers of upcoming arrival times.

Also on the agenda is a $198,000 expenditure to plant 1,000 trees in Santa Monica. The program is funded through the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s local government tree partnership.

The trees will be planted by local students at locations to be determined by the Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force, according to City Hall.

The council is also expected to approve $4.2 million worth of contracts for design and construction services related to building improvements at the Big Blue Bus facility on Colorado Avenue.

The proposed contracts are with Thomco Construction, Interior Office Systems, Harley Ellis Devereaux Corp. and Design Space Modular.

Also on the agenda is a proposed $1.6 million contract for landscape, street lighting, pedestrian and vehicular safety improvements on Longfellow Street in the Borderline Neighborhood adjacent to Venice. Miramontes Construction Co. is expected to win the contract.

The council also is expected to sign off on a proposed $231,000 contract with Precare Inc., which provides workplace injury prevention services.

Under the contract the company would “help develop and implement workplace injury prevention strategies for the city’s physically demanding job classifications prone to injury.” Solid waste workers, police officers and motor coach operators are among those eligible for the firm’s services, a City Hall report stated.

The council also is being asked to approve an additional $35,000 for the Ferguson Group to lobby the federal government on behalf of the Big Blue Bus as part of the Municipal Transit Operators Coalition.

The group’s goal is to obtain federal funds for transit vehicles and facilities. With the additional appropriation, the group’s total contract would be worth $111,000.

The council is also being asked to approve $159,000 for a traffic safety program. The entire cost of the program is being covered by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The grant covers overtime costs for officers conducting DUI/driver’s license checkpoints, saturation patrols, traffic and motorcycle safety operations.

The council is also expected to approve a rent increase and lease extension through 2012 for Angelo’s Pawn Shop, located in a City Hall-owned property at 1334 Fifth St. The monthly rent would increase to $5,141, from $3,970, netting City Hall an additional $10,000 in rental income this fiscal year.

Also on the agenda is a plan to discontinue the weekend-only Tide Ride service operated by the Big Blue Bus as of Sept. 7, 2010.

In place of the service, which serves beachfront hotels, City Hall proposes that money the hotels contribute to the program (about $231,000 was collected last fiscal year) be used to launch a new transportation service that is yet to be determined by next summer.

nickt@www.smdp.com

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