Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant (File photo)
Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant (File photo)

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 — Recent international climate change talks have focused on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, but City Hall has another location in mind.

The City Council is likely to approve an $882,000 purchase of granulated carbon, a material used in Santa Monica’s water treatment facility to strip dangerous chemicals out of the drinking water.

According to a report issued to the City Council, staff will need to replace the material 45 times in the 2013-14 fiscal year at roughly $18,525.85 per change out.

That cost is expected to rise in the coming two years, when the material will have to be swapped out 60 times.

The carbon helps remove methyl tert-butyl ether, or MTBE, and other volatile organic chemicals that seeped into the groundwater from leaking underground storage tanks at gas stations.

City Hall fought for and won a multi-million dollar settlement from major oil companies to clean up the mess, and used the money to build the Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant.

City officials also announced that the Boeing Corporation paid out $39.5 million to clean up water contamination from the former Douglas Aircraft manufacturing sites.

The carbon purchase makes up roughly half of the $1,662,060 consent agenda.


Walking tall


Staff is requesting almost half a million dollars to keep the city’s crosswalks in good form.

Officials inspected local crosswalks between December 2011 and April 2012 and found that the material used to create the stripes was wearing out faster when it was applied to concrete rather than asphalt.

Staff found a similar material that lasts longer, but comes at a 30 percent higher cost, leading officials to form a plan to use conventional materials on asphalt and save the more expensive version for concrete.

Super Seal and Stripe, the lowest bidder, won the $460,000 contract, $60,000 of which will come from the St. John’s development agreement funds to repair crosswalks near the hospital’s construction site that have seen increased use.


Dressing the part


The police and fire departments are requesting over $700,000 in the next three years to buy uniforms, protective gear and other equipment needed to keep their employees safe and looking sharp.

The money will buy ballistic vests, protective eyewear and tactical gear as well as the everyday uniforms needed by public safety personnel.

Only one company, Galls, LLC., bid on the contract.

If approved, Galls will receive $233,613 in the first year with two, one-year renewals for a maximum of $700,839. Future funding is contingent on council approval.


Stop! Go!


The City Council will have the chance to approve a contract for on-call traffic signal repairs, installation and maintenance.

The contract with Dynalectric, Inc., a California-based company, would cost $43,547 in the first year and up to $205,516 in a three-year period. Dynalectric, which has worked in the city before, was one of three bidders on the project.

Future funding would be contingent on council approval.


Medical services


The Santa Monica Police Department has requested to keep on a healthcare provider that performs annual physicals and provides fitness tests and dietary advice for its sworn officers.

If approved, the Westchester Medical Group Center for Heart and Health would receive a five-year, $125,000 contract to provide the physicals and screening tests.

According to the staff report, the tests allow for early identification and treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions and helps officers lead a healthy lifestyle.

The Westchester Medical Group has held the job for the last 12 years, and was only one of two that applied for the contract.

Only $25,000 is available in this budget — the rest will be contingent on future council approval.


Risk management


The City Council is likely to approve a five-year, $107,400 contract with TCS Risk Management Services for data analysis meant to keep worker compensation costs in check.

The company provides financial and operational performance reports based on data offered by the Workers’ Compensation Program to help the city manager and department heads track costs and potential savings.

TCS Risk Management has done the job for the past two years, and beat out eight other competitors to snag the gig for the next five years.

Only $17,900 has been set aside for the current year. Future funding will be contingent on council approval.


ICE, ICE baby


City Hall will receive $1 from the public-private agency that runs the Downtown in exchange for space at Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue to hold the annual ice skating rink.

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. has produced the public skating rink since 2007, transforming what is normally a public parking lot into a seasonal activity that hosts 65,000 skaters and hundreds of thousands of spectators every year.

Although Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. pays the cost of the rink, City Hall forgoes $275,000 in parking revenues by closing down the lot between October and February, according to the staff report.

City Hall hopes that the space will be redeveloped in coming years, and that the ice rink will be preserved.

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