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 — The City Council will have the opportunity Tuesday to allocate $6.9 million to fulfill a promise to the Pico Neighborhood 20 years in the making — the building of the Pico Branch Library.

The library, originally approved in May 2009, will be based in Virginia Avenue Park. It was one of the priority projects for Santa Monica’s Redevelopment Agency before that entity was killed by the state.

In response, City Hall found funds in the Capital Improvement Program budget to build the library.

Officials recommend awarding a building contract to R.C. Construction Services, Inc., a California-based company, in the amount not to exceed $6,915,020.

That firm beat out 12 others for the project, and offered a middle-of-the-pack cost estimate for how much it would take to build the library.

Staff selected the company because it had recently completed three other library projects and had experience in eco-friendly building and high-tech modeling.

The contract amount includes the $6,190,382 base bid, a 10 percent contingency and another $105,600 for a rainwater harvesting system.

The contract makes up the bulk of the $8,910,331 consent agenda, which includes a water main replacement and a new reporting tool for the Big Blue Bus.

Water main

City Hall plans to invest over $1 million to improve Santa Monica’s sewage system by replacing approximately 3,500 feet of decayed piping with new, larger pipes.

The proposed project would be the first of two that targets the biggest problem areas in what is kindly called the “wastewater collection system,” a 150-mile network of pipes that run throughout the city.

Staff recommends Mike Prlich & Sons, Inc. for the job. The company bid $949,975 for the work, over $200,000 less than its next highest competitor.

Mike Prlich & Sons, Inc. has done projects recently in other nearby cities.

The $1,044,973 contract includes a 10 percent contingency.

Big Blue Bus

The City Council is likely to approve the purchase of a computer tracking tool for the Big Blue Bus system that would make it easier for employees to gather and use information about the bus fleet.

The Big Blue Bus already uses systems developed by Trapeze Inc. to track maintenance, operations, employee information and accounting.

The ViewPoint system, also created by Trapeze, would connect the three other products so that all of the information could be accessed at the same time.

That would make it easier to make reports for BBB purposes as well as fulfill reporting requirements for the Metropolitan Transit Authority and state agencies, according to the staff report.

The new system will cost no more than $772,015 over the next seven years, but only $480,000 of that will come from the current budget.

Repaving

The famous and infamous Marvin Braude Bikeway may get a new paint job if the City Council approves an item meant to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Officials recommend spending $470,338 to repave a parking lot at 2030 Ocean Ave. that has fallen into disrepair and at the same time put new striping and signage on the bike path.

They hope to finish the work before the massive summer crowds descend on Santa Monica’s beaches.

Beach-goers are forced to cross directly over the bicycle path when heading toward the beach from the parking lot, which the staff report notes has been the cause of “unsafe conditions and mounting community complaints.”

New signage to guide beach visitors, bicyclists and pedestrians would make the whole situation safer, according to the report.

The work would be an extension of City Hall’s annual paving project, which involved two contracts, one to Excel Paving for construction and another to Civil Source for construction management.

Both were awarded in September 2011.

Officials also recommend that the City Council defer repaving and maintenance of a stretch of Second Street between Colorado Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard where Parking Structure 6 is being demolished and rebuilt.

Goodbye, gangway

Staff recommends that the City Council reject two bids for the construction of an emergency gangway for the Santa Monica Pier.

The bids by Mallcraft, Inc. and John S. Meek Co., Inc. were between $300,000 and $700,000 higher than staff’s $1.2 million estimate.

The proposed emergency gangway is a retractable aluminum gangway and a floating dock anchored to the sea floor as well as a hoist.

In the event of an emergency, people on the pier could go to the floating dock and be picked up by waiting boats. The dock would be able to hold between 200 and 300 people and allow for two boats to dock at once to assist in an evacuation, according to the report.

Grant

In a bright spot of fiscal news, the state of California is offering $39,724 to pay for a new system to track information about hazardous waste generation and regulation.

The Santa Monica Fire Department deals with permitting, inspecting and collecting fees from approximately 300 businesses in the city that deal with chemicals, have above or below-ground storage tanks or generate hazardous waste.

A 2008 law required that the SMFD report that data electronically to the California Environmental Reporting System by 2013.

The grant money will help pay for the computer software, hardware and training needed for the new reporting requirements.

ashley@www.smdp.com

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