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 — Mitsubishi’s tenacious hold on specs and parts for its elevators will win it a five-year, $305,979 contract if the City Council approves the appropriation on Tuesday.

The elevators, which are installed in the Public Safety Facility at the corner of Fourth Street and Olympic Drive and the Main Library at 601 Santa Monica Blvd., were installed by Mitsubishi in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

Since, the company has been providing service for the elevators. None of the other four companies surveyed for the job would agree to provide service for the elevators because of lack of access to manufacturer parts, diagnostic equipment and equipment specifications.

That’s the most expensive item on the $886,732 consent agenda. City Hall is also expected to receive a $1,313,085 grant for urban runoff water quality improvement projects.

Green means go

Because traffic in Santa Monica can’t afford to get any worse, City Hall plans to purchase emergency back-up systems for 74 traffic signals to keep cars flowing.

Traffic signals can stop operating properly after power failures, power spikes or interruptions in service, according to the staff report.

At present, half of Santa Monica’s 180 traffic signals have these backups, but many are eight years old and may soon expire.

The new systems, supplied by California-based C.T. & F., will cost $290,000. Eleven companies bid on the project.

Replacing them will save $9,180 per year in repairs, and more in police and traffic services for traffic control at intersections with a failed light, according to the staff report.

Freeway sign improvements

The City Council is expected to approve $136,000 in improvements for freeway signage to help motorists exiting Interstate 10 onto Santa Monica streets.

Both city staff and the California Department of Transportation agree that signage for the freeway exits off of the I-10 are deficient, but the state has no money to improve the situation.

Travelers exiting the freeway habitually go to the wrong lanes, which backs up traffic onto the freeway and going into the city.

City staff recommend eight locations for the new signs, but before those can be installed they need construction documents, which will be provided by RBF Consulting, a California-based company.

The project will also include the installation of advisory signs to direct drivers to radio stations that will clue them in to traffic and parking conditions.

Premium cable

Staff is asking for a fifth and sixth modification to respective design and construction services for the CityTV building on 19th Street, a project that has been in the works since March.

The changes would add an additional $24,935 to the design contract with Nonzero Architecture, and $110,000 in construction costs for the SBS Corp.

Problems arose when workers tried to install new utilities, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Termite damage was found in plywood on the roof, which had to be replaced.

Roof drains and piping also had to be replaced after the existing roofing was removed.

Those and other factors resulted in the additional $134,935 for the project.

Street sweeps

An oversight in the original contract to replace three street sweepers for sidewalk cleaning on the Third Street Promenade will force staff to come back for a $20,000 ask on Tuesday.

The City Council approved the original expenditure in June 2010. At that time, staff did not include property tax and processing fees in the $328,673 purchase order.

To rectify that, staff recommends a purchase order modification of $20,000 to pay for $9,705 in taxes and handling fees, $2,455 in late fees and a $7,840 contingency.

Christmas in November

The City Council will get a chance to accept $1,313,085 in grant money from the state government for two projects intended to improve water quality in the Santa Monica Bay.

The first, worth $300,000, will involve the installation and monitoring of two separate storm drain retrofit systems at four locations to capture, filter, clean and infiltrate dry weather and stormwater runoff.

The systems will be monitored for their effectiveness at treating runoff and removing pollutants.

A second project, the 16th Street Watershed Marine Park urban runoff use project, will divert runoff from the Rose Avenue storm drain into a treatment system, after which the water will be stored in an underground cistern under a playing field.

City Hall will receive $1,013,085 to construct a pipeline from the Penmar cistern to Marine Park, where disinfected water will be integrated into the irrigation system.

That grant funding will cover half of the $2,000,222 project. The rest will be covered by funds from a local parcel tax called Measure V.


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