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Santa Monica City Council Tackles Homeland Security, Parks and Water Management

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

March 26, 2014 -- While the big topic of Tuesday’s City Council meeting was the future of Santa Monica’s century-old airport, the Council also handled some more routine business.

At the top of Tuesday’s meeting, the Council approved a range items from accepting a homeland security grant to dolling out more money for a new park to hiring a firm to rehab one of Santa Monica’s wells.

The Council accepted nearly $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to shore up the City’s ability to respond to terrorism.

The money would pay for “an automated license plate reading system for the Police Department, terrorism liaison officer training, hazardous material (HazMat) training and equipment, urban search and rescue (USAR) training and equipment and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) training and equipment for the Fire Department,” staff said.

The Council also approved a $260,000 contract with General Pump Company, Inc. to fix the City’s number 3 well, which failed last May.

“The cause of the failure was a break in the casing near the bottom of the well 300 feet below the surface,” staff said.

“The loss of Santa Monica Well No. 3 represents a loss of production of almost a million gallons of potable water per day and a corresponding increase in purchases from Metropolitan Water District (MWD),” they said.

Staff said that once the well is up and running, it would help achieve to the City’s goal of achieving water self-sufficiency by 2020. (“Santa Monica on Track to Water Self-Sufficiency,” July 16, 2013)

To that same end, the Council clarified how it will spend the roughly $300,000 a year it collects from developers to offset their projects’ impact on the City’s water supply.

“With the clarification of the appropriate uses, the Water Demand Mitigation Fee by 2020 could generate a total of approximately $2,100,000,” staff said.

The Council approved a list of priority projects to spend that money on, including “installations of water-efficient plumbing pipeline, landscaping, rainwater and  stormwater capture equipment along with the processes and equipment that minimize the water needed for the distribution system.”
The Council also agreed to doll out another $25,000 to Mia Lehrer and Associates to design a playground for the City’s future Buffer Park. (“Metro Moves Forward With Expo Maintenance Yard,” September 8, 2011)

The future 2.35-acre park would “create a buffer area facing the residential neighborhood along Exposition Boulevard, adjacent to and south of the new Expo Maintenance Facility,” staff said.

As a result of community input, staff said, “the original conceptual design of simple play features evolved into a fully functional children’s playground, requiring the additional services of a play safety inspector which had not been required with the original scope,” staff said.

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