After a brief summer respite, City Council returns to regular business on September 12 with a relatively easy agenda.

The Consent Calendar, typically reserved for routine or repeat items, contains approval for a pair of events on the beach and a call for new bidders to build pedestrian improvements on 4th Street.

The 1550 PCH parking lot, adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier, can be rented for special events and Council will be presented with two applications for the site.

“The first is an interactive exhibition, Forced from Home, about displaced people and refugees around the world,” said the staff report. “The exhibit, sponsored by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), will be open to the public from November 13 to 19, 2017; set up will begin on November 11 and move out will be completed by November 20. The other event is the return of the Independent Spirit Awards (ISA) on March 3, 2018. ISA will occupy the 1550 lot for two weeks, from February 21 to March 7, 2018.”

The policy allows for multiyear event proposals and the ISA is also suggesting tentative dates for their 2019 and 2020 events.

The proposal marks the second time Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) staged an exhibit locally. Their first event, “Refugee Camp in The Heart of the City,” was held in the same location in 2008.

The new exhibit, Forced from Home (FFH), will be open for a week between Nov. 13 and 19 with a couple of days on each end for setup and takedown. It would use 78 of the 1,173 spaces in the lot.

It includes five tents and a video dome. At the end of the tour the exhibit includes a Q&A area, Virtual Reality tend and a take action tent. Tours would be free, limited to 20 people per tour, last about an hour and would run every eight minutes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Independent Spirit Awards would take place on Saturday, March 3, 2018 with tentative proposals to return on February 23, 2019 and either February 22 or 29, 2020.

ISA will occupy using 526 of the 1,173 spaces for about two-weeks. According to the report, the event has economic benefits to the city including over $28,000 in direct revenue from room fees, purchased meals on the Pier, and the after party at the Carousel.

The proposed rental fee to the Beach Fund for Forced from Home is $11,538 and the proposed rental fee for ISA is $104,580.

Also on the consent calendar is a recommendation to reject a bid for roadwork on 4th Street.

The opening of the downtown Expo station prompted City Hall to rethink roadplans on adjacent streets and the east side of 4th Street between Broadway and Colorado was redesigned this year.

“On June 19, 2017, the City issued Request for Proposal (RFP) #123 for professional design services for the 4th Street Phase II Project,” said the report. “The project consists of preparation of a final design, construction level plans, and specifications for walking and biking enhancements on 4th Street between Colorado Avenue and Olympic Drive. On July 10, 2017, one (1) proposal was received. Staff recommends rejecting the single proposal for RFP #123 and re-advertising the RFP with a more defined scope of services.”

Staff are said the received by exceeded available budget for design services and the team lacked experience working with Caltrans (as will be required on the freeway overpass).

The proposal will be revised to include the budget for design services, revise scope of work to specify Caltrans involvement and increase the bidding duration to one month.

Also on the consent calendar for Tuesday is a contract for plumbing services, contract for graffiti removal, contract for custodial services, contract for railing and lighting work on the Pier, purchase of 1,980 plastic bins for residential recycling over the next five years, extend an agreement for workers’ compensation medical bill reviewing, extend a contract for signage downtown, and purchase tires for city vehicles.

Council will meet on Sept. 12 in City Hall, 1685 Main St. Closed session begins at 5:30 p.m.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...