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 — Aiming to increase affordability at the Mountain View Mobile Home Park, and in some cases assist residents who want to become homeowners, the City Council is set to approve $9.2 million for a new financing program.

The program would offer deferred payment loans and lease-to-own options in addition to rental agreements at the mobile home park.

A maximum of 54 manufactured homes at the park, which can accommodate 105 units, would be eligible for purchase under the proposal.

By using the deferred payment loan option, residents who want to replace their trailers with new manufactured homes could be eligible for loans of up to 50 percent of the cost of a new home from City Hall.

The financing program is part of a roughly $18.4 million spending package included on the City Council’s consent agenda for tonight’s meeting.

As City Hall prepares to begin holding public meetings in January to come up with a plan for the city-owned, 120,000 square-foot site at Fourth and Fifth streets, south of Arizona Avenue in Downtown, the council is expected to approve two new contracts related to the project.

The council is being asked to sign off on an additional $35,000 for Allan D. Kotin and Associates for additional economic consulting services, and is also expected to approve an additional $20,000 for Nelson Nygaard for additional transportation and parking consulting services.

The public is being asked to contribute ideas for the site, which is expected to include parking within a mixed use project, according to a City Hall report.

In order to get CityTV’s new headquarters at 1654 19th St. ready for occupancy, the council is being asked to approve a $1.6 million construction contract for SBS Corp.

Designs for the tenant improvements at the site have been completed and construction is set to begin. Once completed, CityTV will relocate from its temporary office at 1717 Fourth St.

The council is also set to approve a contract for office supplies with a new vendor, Staples Inc., for $1.5 million over four and a half years.

City Hall’s old vendor, Office Depot, will provide supplies through the first half of 2011 at a cost of $35,000.

The council is also expected to approve $300,000 for the law firm Kane, Ballmer & Berkman to provide legal services related to capital improvements, assistance for affordable housing production, property acquisition and redevelopment projects.

The firm is currently assisting the City Attorney’s Office with the Civic Center Joint Use Project, the Civic Center Village housing development, the Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square Project, Downtown parking structure improvements and the AMC Downtown cinema development, among other projects, according to a City Hall report.

“Hourly rates for the attorneys at KBB are very reasonable, ranging from $160 per hour for an associate to $225 per hour for principals and $275 for the founding partner,” according to the report.

In order to complete construction of the electrical room at City Hall, which is located in the portion of the building formerly used as a jail, the council is being asked to approve an additional $45,000 for Gonzalez Construction, bringing the firm’s total contract amount to $545,000.

The electrical room is 90 percent complete and is expected to be finished by the end of the month, according to a City Hall report.

The council is also expected to approve an additional $56,713 for improvements at Reed Park. The contract amendment brings the amount Acon Development will be paid for the project to $871,713.

The project includes an expansion of the children’s play area and landscape and lighting improvements. The park is located at Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street.

Aiming to help drivers more quickly find parking at beach lots, the City Council is expected to approve $110,000 to install real-time signs.

“The signs will help to distribute traffic, increase the efficiency of existing parking resources, and reduce traffic congestion,” according to a City Hall report.

The proposed contract is with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the preparation of plans, specifications and estimates for the installation of the signs.

The council is also set to approve $5.2 million for five new busses that run on compressed natural gas. The new vehicles recommended for purchase will replace five 1995 diesel powered 40-foot buses which have exceeded their 12-year useful life cycle, according to City Hall.

The cost of the vehicles will be funded using federal, state and county transit sales tax funds. The proposed contract is with North American Bus Industries, an Alabama-based company.

The council is also being asked to approve two contracts for services at the Santa Monica Woodlawn Cemetery, Mausoleum and Mortuary.

The first is a proposed $100,000 agreement with Snyder’s Embalming Service for 18 months of embalming and decedent care services. The second is a proposed $100,000 deal with Southwest Mortuary Services for transportation of the dead and cremation services for an 18-month period.

nickt@www.smdp.com

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