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Staff Recommends Contracting Out Pier Services

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

March 13 -- Weeks after Pier officials and City employees asked the City Council to bring custodial services in-house at the historic structure, a City staff report recommends continuing to contract out the work.

While council members will ultimately decide the issue Tuesday, City staff warned that it would cost 55 percent more for the City to hire the employees needed to do the work.

"Over the last year, City staff, the Pier Restoration Corporation and Pier tenants have expressed a rising level of dissatisfaction with the contracted custodial services," states the staff report.

Despite such concerns the cost is too high for City staff to recommend changing the current policy, according to the report.

"The recommendation continues the past 11-year practice of contracting for Pier janitorial services and is consistent with a policy of supplementing, rather than supplanting, permanent City positions," the report said.

While Pier officials said they believe the City could afford hiring part-time employees, City staff suggested the actual cost would be hire because supervisors would need to be assigned as well.

"If City staff were to take on this function, staff would hire permanent, full-time employees and a crew supervisor to achieve reliable and consistent coverage, which would result in greater costs than the PRC estimated," the report said.

Staff estimated the cost at $302,632 for base services, with another $40,000 in contingency fees to contract services out for the next year, with two year renewal options.

Considering staffing, overhead and supervision, it could cost more than $470,000 to add the janitorial staff to the City payroll.

"Staff's review showed that the selective use of contracted services allows for more effective and efficient use of existing employees," said the report.

Since 2002, LA Cha was the main company contracted by the City for pier services. The contract, however, was discontinued last July because of the company could not afford to provide such services under the City's new living wage requirement, staff said in the report.

LA Cha has agreed to continue to provide custodial services on an interim basis until a formal bidding process is completed.







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