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$31.6 Million in Parking Contracts Top Santa Monica City Council Agenda

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and MarkHarding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors BureauWhen one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.

By Jason Islas
Lookout reporter

April 22, 2014 -- The Santa Monica City Council will consider Tuesday about $31.6 million in parking-related expenses at the top of its Tuesday meeting.
Over the next five years, the City could doll out $30.8 million to extend its contract with Central Parking Systems, the company that manages all City-owned parking in Santa Monica, including the nine Downtown parking structures.

The Council could also approve a $460,800 increase to the City’s contract with IPS Group Inc., to buy, install and maintain an additional 350 parking meters around town.

While the lion’s share of the cost would be the proposed five-year contract with Central Parking Systems, staffing is asking the Council to approve it on a month-to-month basis, which would cost the City $490,000 a month, until the City can go through a request for proposal process to search for a potentially new operator.

The City’s current contract with the Tennessee-based company, signed in 2009, expires at the end of May.

“If the new Request for Proposals process resulted in a new parking operator, the transition would need to occur in May,” according to a staff report.

“Since May is the beginning of the busiest season for parking operations, staff does not recommend transitioning parking operators at this time,” the report reads.

The company is responsible for managing the City’s 14,283 parking spaces, distributed throughout Santa Monica in 12 parking structures and 30 parking lots.

The Council will also consider increasing its contract with IPS Group Inc., a California-based company that has worked with the City since 2011, when the Council awarded the company a $5.1 million contract to replace all coin-only meters in Santa Monica.

IPS meters are able to accept credit cards as well as coins have ground sensors that prevent people feeding the meter past the posted time limit, which increases parking space turnover, staff said. (“Santa Monica to Roll Out “Smart” Parking Meters in 2012,” October 2011)

If approved, the modified contract would include the purchase, installation and maintenance of an additional 350 meters.

“The additional parking meters are expected to generate approximately $700,000 (in) additional parking revenue annually,” staff said.

According to the staff report, some of the meters will go in locations where there are currently no limits or regulations to on-street parking, save street-sweeping regulations.

“Since the recommended areas currently do not have meters or time limit regulations, these areas are 100% occupied at nearly all hours of the day by vehicles that park for extended periods,” staff said.

Some of the places officials are considering for the new meters include the west side of 11th Street and the east side of 10th Street between Santa Monica Boulevard and Arizona Avenue.

Staff is also considering both sides of Ocean Park Boulevard between 16th and 17th streets for the new meters as well as Michigan Avenue between 15th and 14th streets.

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