Santa Monica City Hall (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 — City Council will consider approving $22,846,118 worth of spending in Tuesday night’s consent agenda. A majority of the spending comes from a design contract for a new municipal building next to City Hall and the costs associated with people using credit cards to pay for public parking over the next five years.

City Services building

City Hall has more employees than it knows what to do with.

Its paying to rent space for hundreds of workers so, earlier this year, City Council approved plans to move forward with the construction of the City Services Building.

On Tuesday, council will consider paying Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company $7,064,501 for design of the building.

“Additionally, funds need to be appropriated for direct owner costs in the design phase for surveys, permits, fees and management in the amount of $540,000,” city officials said in a report to council.

Construction of the three-story building, to be added next to City Hall, could begin in 2017.

Credit card purchases

Since 2010, when City Hall last negotiated a contract for credit car services, credit transactions are up more than 2,000 percent, to more than 8 million per year. This is largely thanks to the installation of 6,000 parking meters that accept credit payments. Parking transactions account for 98 percent of credit card usage with City Hall, city officials said in a report to council.

As a result, City Hall has to pay more. They are recommending council sign a contract with TransFirst Health and Government Solutions to process credit card payments with an estimated cost of $12.4 million over five years.

Property management

City Hall is the landlord of 26 apartments over two developments and 105 spaces in the Mountain View Mobile Home Park.

They use Real Estate Consulting and Services, Inc. to take care of those tenants.

City officials want to extend the company’s contract for a year and a half, to the tune of $701,357.

City Hall is transitioning those two developments to a nonprofit housing organization by the end of the summer. The mobile home park is supposed to transition out of City Hall’s ownership by the end of 2016. Therefore, these costs are expected to disappear by the time this contract is up.

Trash trucks

Trash ain’t cheap. Council will consider spending $1,651,212 on five Compressed Natural Gas side loading trash trucks. Three would come from Boerner Truck Center and two would come from Los Angeles Freightliner.

300-gallon trash containers

Taxpayers’ trash is Snyder Industries treasure. The company is slated to get $250,000 to provide 300-gallon refuse and recycling containers over the next three years.

City Hall has more than 38,000 trash cans of all shapes and sizes throughout the city and the 300-gallon containers in question usually last 8 to 10 years according to a report from public works officials to council.

About 360 of the nearly 3,700 throughout the city would be replaced.

Online videos

If you’re very involved with city politics, a local reporter, or a masochist then you’ve probably streamed or watched archived footage of a City Council meeting. Granicus has been providing that service since 2010 and city officials are recommending that they continuing to do so at the cost of $17,786.40 per year.


MuniServices, LLC is recommended to get $221,262 to audit parking facilities and businesses, ensuring that they are paying their taxes to City Hall.

MuniServices audited one business that lead to the recovery of almost a $1 million in unpaid taxes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *