Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica City Council Approves $1.6 Million in Spending
By Jason Islas
September 25, 2013 -- At the top of its Tuesday meeting, the Santa Monica City Council approved $1.6 million in expenditures.
The most expensive item on the list was a $467,113 contract with traffic consultant firm Nelson/Nygaard to study the best ways to link the City's Big Blue Bus (BBB) service with the coming Expo Light Rail line, expected to open in 2016.
“The BBB/Expo Integration study would evaluate land use, key origins and destinations, market analysis, corridor analysis, and industry best practices in order to develop a comprehensive Service Integration Plan between BBB lines and the eight stations on the Expo Line in the BBB service area,” staff said.
While only three of the stations will be within Santa Monica's city limits, the Big Blue Bus will service an additional five along the route to Culver City, including the stations at Bundy Drive, Westwood Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard.
The Council also approved Tuesday a $32,135 contract with Godbe Research to survey residents about the future of development in Santa Monica.
While it is one of the least expensive items approved by the Council Tuesday, the survey is meant to shed light on a contentious debate in the bayside city in which opponents of tall developments have claimed that three hotels, ranging from 195 feet to more than 300 feet, are opposed by the majority of residents.
Project supporters have argued that opponents' claims that a majority of residents are against the project are unfounded, since there has been no scientific polling on the issue.
The Council also approved spending up to $200,000 to reimburse flight schools at Santa Monica Airport up to $3,500 or about half of the cost of retrofitting their training aircraft with mufflers.
The Council agreed to dole out another $331,785 to modify its contract with Beavens Systems Inc. “to provide additional upgrades, installation, software maintenance, and training on the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for water and wastewater facilities,” staff said.
In addition, the Council approved $300,000 to Deterministic Systems, Inc. for a five-year agreement to maintain the City's Public Safety Facility control system.
The Council also decided to pay another $51,049 to ICF Consulting Services. The contract with ICF is for environmental screening services for the City's proposed Buffer Park, which will be designed to seperate the neighborhood from an Expo maintenance facility planned for the a 21-acre former aircraft manufacturing plant in the Pico Neighborhood.
Another $40,120 was approved to let HR&A Advisors, Inc. complete a study on the financial feasibility of requiring commercial developments to pay affordable housing fees.
After Tuesday's vote, Santa Monica will continue its contract with EcoMotion for $75,000 to run the City's Solar Santa Monica Program, which has been in place since 2006.
“In this time they have successfully increased the rate of solar power installations on residential and commercial properties,” staff said, adding that continuing the program is essential to meet the City's sustainability goals.
The City Council also approved a combined $150,000 for pool maintenance and cleaning services and tiling services.
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