Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the 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 — Years of planning and process may result in action Tuesday if the City Council approves a $2.2 million contract to design the Colorado Esplanade, a promenade and plaza that will usher users of the new Expo Light Rail line into Santa Monica proper.

The project would connect the Exposition Light Rail station to Ocean Avenue, the Santa Monica Pier, Main Street bridge and Downtown, with a special emphasis on sidewalk and bicycle facilities to accommodate light rail users.

City staff shortlisted five design teams for the project, ultimately choosing Peter Walker and Partners based on a list of criteria including project approach, cost and previous experience.

The same firm is working on the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.

The $2.2 million figure includes the cost of design, a 10 percent contingency and reimbursable expenses.

In the same item, a $236,235 contract will likely be awarded to the Atkins group, which worked on the environmental work for the newly adopted Land Use and Circulation Element.

Although the Colorado Esplanade design and environmental work will be the most widely recognizable item on the $16,610,366 consent calendar, it’s only the second most expensive. That dubious honor falls to a set of trash contracts.

Taking out the trash

City staff will ask the council to sign off on a maximum of $9,582,000 worth of purchase orders to five California companies and one Arizona company for trash and recycling disposal.

According to a staff report, the rates with those companies will be locked in over the next five years.

State law puts limits on how much trash landfills can accept on any given day. As a result, City Hall must contract with several different companies. One of them, Puente Hills Landfill, will close in 2013, causing rates across the county to rise and forcing City Hall to look for another provider of services.

The cheapest of the new options is Sunshine Canyon Landfill, located in Sylmar and run by an Arizona-based company, Republic Services Inc.

In May 2010, the City Council voted to avoid contracts with Arizona companies in protest of a law that allowed police to check people’s citizenship if they had “reasonable suspicion” that a person was in the country illegally.

As a result, city staff recommend to use the Sylmar facility as a back up to the more expensive Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Castaic.

H2O for all

Three items on the consent agenda, worth $2,056,000, deal with maintenance on two local water treatment facilities, the Arcadia Water Treatment plant and the Charnock Well Fields.

The City Council is expected to approve $911,000 to buy three chemicals necessary to treat water at local facilities.

The contract is for the purchase and delivery of sodium bisulfite, sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite over the course of three years.

Each chemical serves a specific purpose in water treatment at the Arcadia and Charnock plants. Sodium bisulfite is used to remove chlorine, while sodium hypochlorite both disinfects and removes iron and manganese from water.

Sodium hydroxide raises the pH to make treated water less corrosive.

All three chemicals would come from JCI Jones Chemical Inc., a Florida-based company.

Council members will also be asked to approve an $800,000 replacement of granular activated carbon at the Charnock Well Field.

That type of carbon filters out methyl tert-butyl ether and other organic chemicals from water.

Those chemicals were introduced through leaking gas storage tanks, amongst other things, and are toxic to humans.

The contract will likely be awarded to Carbon Activated Corp., which bid the lowest and has provided similar services to several California cities.

Finally, the facilities must be painted to prevent damage to the buildings.

That maintenance will cost $345,000 total for three years of services. The contract would be awarded to the company DAVIAN, which was considerably cheaper than the two other companies polled on their after hours rates.

Drain it

An existing storm drain north of the Santa Monica Pier will get a redesign to make it hardier and prevent flooding the north parking lot if the City Council approves a $422,738 project on Tuesday.

The storm drain, as it is, gets overwhelmed by runoff from the parking lot, and frequently fails. The new design would use a gravity storm water collection system instead of the current pump, harnessing natural forces to get the water to the existing clarifier treatment system.

That contract is expected to go to Mike Prlich & Sons Inc., which underbid its competitor by approximately $14,000.

Takes money to make money

Convenience costs.

In response to the rising popularity of using credit cards to pay for parking in city structures — nearly 50 percent of parkers use this option — staff requested a four-year contract with Six Card Solutions to process the transactions.

Six Card Solutions is the authorized processor for the parking system installed in Santa Monica public parking lots. The contract would be for $80,000 each year, for a total of $320,000.

Keep it clean

Some dub it art, others nuisance. Either way, City Hall will likely contract with an outside firm, Graffiti Control Systems, to remove the paint that city staff isn’t able to get to.

The three-year contract would cost City Hall $230,256 total for removal and a computer-based tracking system that documents where instances of graffiti occur.

Graffiti Control Systems has operated in Santa Monica since 2006, primarily in the Pico Neighborhood.

Light rail station improvements

Santa Monicans have high expectations for the aesthetics and functionality of their city, and as the Exposition Light Rail line gets closer to its eventual terminus, City Hall will have to pay for those elements that go over the base package that the Expo Construction Authority offers for train stations.

The City Council will decide whether or not to give $245,000 to Expo for preliminary engineering at Bergamot Station, and another $120,000 for similar services at the Memorial Park/Mid-City Station.

These estimates are “not to exceed” marks, meaning that the end planning cost could be cheaper.

Checked out

The City Council will be asked to extend the contract for a firm that helps with plan checks, code compliance and other inspection services.

JAS Pacific Inc. has worked with city staff since 2007 when there were staff vacancies or peak workload demands, as well as on projects that require special expertise.

The current contract will expire June 30, and staff has not begun the process of putting the work out to bid. As a result, staff is requesting a $200,000 contract extension until the proposal process can be conducted.

That will bring the total amount paid to JAS Pacific since 2007 to $2,614,000.

Towing services

When transit buses and fire engines break down, it’s not your average tow truck that can do the work to get them to a maintenance yard.

That’s why the City Council will likely approve a three-year $200,000 contract with Tom John Towing, a California-based company that can tow the large vehicles but also provide clean-up and disposal of any liquids spilled by the buses and fire trucks.

Sweeper repair

A $150,000 contract to repair the brushes on street sweepers will be under consideration Tuesday night.

Three companies bid on the contract. Staff recommends that it be awarded to United Rotary Brush Corporation.

Bike right

At the request of Bike and Park, LCC, the operator of the new public bike facilities in two municipal parking structures, staff recommends an additional $148,250 for improvements to the facilities’ design.

The changes would provide easier access for bike members, including a second entry and exit pathway, powered self-opening doors, steel ledges for rolling bikes at stairs and easier bike locking devices.

There would also be a better theft retrieval system and security monitoring so people coming in and out of the facility can be identified, as well as greater security where documents are stored and bikes repaired.

New playground

Katherine Spitz Associates, Inc. is up for a $120,038 contract to design and provide pre-construction services for a universally-accessible playground to be built at 2900 Ocean Front Walk.

A universally-accessible playground exceeds the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act to include children with all kinds of disabilities.

The specifics of the project will be worked out through a series of community meetings, and in conjunction with the Disabilities and Recreation and Parks commissions.

Last but not least

Five other expenditure items are on the consent agenda: Janitorial services for the Big Blue Bus ($98,472); leases on electric Toyota RAV 4s ($90,873); development and administration of a financing program for the Mountain View Mobile Home Park ($85,000); purchase of brake reline kits ($70,000); and a $35,504 contract extension for the Morley Construction Company.


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