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Electric Cars and Emergency Radio Top Santa Monica City Council's Consent Calendar

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


Rusty's Surf

By Lookout Staff

May 22, 2013 -- The Santa Monica City Council is expected to spend nearly half a million dollars for ten electric cars and another quarter million for a rooftop emergency system when it takes up its consent calendar Tuesday.

The 10 Toyota RAV4 electric cars -- a standard in Santa Monica's fleet since 2001 -- would cost $442,437. “Currently, there are 24 Toyota RAV4 EVs in the City fleet of which 10 are at the end of their useful life,” staff said.

In addition to replacing the old vehicle with 2013 models, the Council will likely approve an extension of its lease of the roof of the 300-foot tower at 100 Wilshire Boulevard for a public safety radio communications system at a cost of $244,000.

The City has leased the space at the top of Santa Monica's tallest building for a quarter century, and if the Council approves the item, would continue to do so for another five years.

“The site is a strategic location for the communications equipment due to the building’s height, central location in the downtown area, and emergency power equipment,” City officials said.

The Wilshire building was built in the late 1970s, before the City Council -- controlled by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights -- passed a zoning code that capped building heights throughout the city at four stories.

Because of that zoning ordinance, Santa Monica's skyline has been kept relatively close to the ground, limiting the number of locations a radio system could be placed.

“There are no practical alternatives for relocating the equipment presently installed at 100 Wilshire Boulevard,” staff said. “Relocating the equipment to a different building that does not have the same profile and geographic location as 100 Wilshire Boulevard will degrade communications for Police and Fire.”

Even if there were another location, staff said, the cost of relocating the system could cost millions of dollars.

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