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 — Officials have decided to get rid of parking meters in Main Street’s public parking lots. But don’t get too excited — it’s still going to cost you.

The City Council is expected to approve $340,000 at its meeting tonight to replace 351 single space meters with 20 “pay-by-space machines” at City Hall-owned lots located between 2300 and 2600 Neilson Way.

The new machines “will provide customers with an electronic pay option and will reduce labor and maintenance costs associated with the collection and deposit of monies collected from parking meters and maintenance of meters,” according to a City Hall report.

The proposed contract is with Canada-based Digital Payment Technologies and is included on the council’s consent agenda

Also expected to win the council’s approval is a $1.1 million agreement to fund planning efforts by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District related to the Civic Center Joint Use Project.

The plan is to expand Santa Monica High School’s campus in conjunction with City Hall’s plans for a revitalized Civic Center, which include the Palisades Garden Walk & Town Center Project and the future Expo Light Rail Stop at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue.

The money would pay for “plans for new or redeveloped recreational and cultural facilities that the broader community could access when not needed by the high school, the creation of a Michigan Avenue pedestrian/bicycle promenade to facilitate public access through the campus and subterranean parking,” according to a City Hall report.

The funds are a small part of the $57 million the City Council allocated for the project last November.

On the other side of the ledger, the council is expected to officially accept a $150,000 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security to train members of the Fire Department in hazardous materials and urban search and rescue response.

The grant is part of a post 9/11 program aimed at providing emergency responders with the specialized skills necessary for disaster response. The grant does not require a matching contribution from City Hall.

nickt@www.smdp.com

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