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A man reads at the Main Library on Monday. (photo by Daniel Archuleta)

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 — After several City Council agendas sporting consent sections valued in the tens of millions of dollars, Tuesday’s expenditures will seem quite tame.

The big ticket item on the $582,851 consent calendar is a not-to-exceed $204,592 contract with Goodwill Southern California for custodial services at Santa Monica’s four municipal libraries.

Twenty-one groups bid on the three-year contract, but Goodwill had an advantage because, as a nonprofit, it is exempt from the Living Wage Ordinance, which brought its bid in 65 percent lower than the next lowest bidder, according to the staff report.

If city staff tried to provide the same services, it would cost $556,693.93, or 172 percent of Goodwill’s bid.

Staff also considered vendor interviews, customer references and ability to actually perform the work when choosing the winning bid.

Fuel station maintenance

Staff recommend that the City Council approve a $150,000, three-year contract with Natural Gas Systems for maintenance and repair of a fueling station at the City Yards.

The station doles out 225,000 gallons of compressed natural gas per year to 265 City Hall vehicles, up from 97 when the station opened in 2000.

The Fleet Management Division doesn’t have the specialized staff it needs to do maintenance and repair work on the fueling station, city officials said.

Three companies responded to a notice of bids. Natural Gas Systems charged slightly over half of its next lowest competitor for monthly maintenance. It has serviced the station for the last six years.

This is just a test …

To ensure emergency communications equipment stays fully operational, City Hall will likely enter into a $123,259 maintenance and repair contract with Motorola, Inc.

Motorola makes all of the radios, base station equipment and mobile data computers used by the police and fire departments, and has been fixing them since the 1980s.

City Hall didn’t have a lot of flexibility in the choice. The systems use proprietary technology developed by Motorola, and available only from that company.

The contract is for one year, valued at $123,259. Three one-year optional extensions put the cost at $369,777, but have not been budgeted.

Big Blue Bus lobbying

Everyone needs a voice on Capitol Hill, and the Big Blue Bus system buys it for a cool $105,000.

That’s the cost of City Hall’s share of lobbying services bought by the Municipal Transit Operators Coalition, a seven-city organization that gets its representation in Washington D.C. from the Ferguson Group, LLC.

So far, the cost has more than paid for itself, according to the staff report.

BBB got a $3.1 million earmark from one piece of legislation alone.

Ferguson Group also has a separate agreement with City Hall to monitor executive proposals, legislation, administrative regulation, Congressional appropriations and other developments.

ashley@www.smdp.com

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