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Santa Monica City Council Approves Array of Expenditures on Consent

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Hector Gonzalez
Special to The Lookout

September 9, 2015 -- Money for new breathing apparatus for firefighters, a new pool deck for the Swim Center and more than 3,700 new low-flush toilets for apartment buildings were among the consent calendar expenditures approved on Tuesday by the Santa Monica City Council.

Among the largest expenditures was the $1.3 million approved for the Swim Center to replace failing concrete pool decks, inefficient and corroded underwater light fixtures and crumbling pool plaster and tiles, according to City staff. The upgrades also are designed to bring the facility into compliance with wheelchair-accessibility codes.

Substandard underwater lights in the pool, built in 2002, have posed a problem for years, staff said, and the original concrete used in the decks for the splash and fitness pools turned out to be “poor quality,” resulting in “accelerated deterioration which cannot be replaced.”

The Council also voted to replace outdated and problematic self-contained breathing apparatus used by Santa Monica firefighters since 2008 with 70 up-to-date devices at a cost of $642,014.

The current Sperian Warrior breathing devices carry oxygen cylinders vital for allowing firefighters to work in smoke-filled environments, but the brand has had electronic failures and other defects no longer covered by warranty, according to staff.

Purchased through All Star Fire Equipment, the new devices meet all current safety and reliability standards, provide 45 minutes of breathable air in a cylinder the same size as the old 30-minute cylinder and would “optimize firefighter protection” during structure fires, search and rescue operations and hazardous materials emergencies, staff said.

In another consent calendar item, the Council approved approximately $1.3 million to purchase more than 3,790 new low-flush toilets for local apartment buildings as part of the second phase of the Multi-Family Toilet Direct Install Program, which began in June.

Phase one installed 522 low-cost toilets in apartments of low-income residents, said staff. Phase two will install the new bowls in multi-family units, for a total of 4,312 installations, staff said.

The program is part of the City's drought response and is designed to help Santa Monica meet a state-mandated residential water conservation goal of 20 percent below 2013 levels. So far, residents have made the goal for every month since May, when the conservation standards kicked in.

About 1,100 apartment units in 50 building are targeted for toilet retrofitting under phase two, said staff, which is recommending Southwest Environmental Inc. for a $121,000 contract to install the devices.

Funding for the program is coming from Metropolitan Water District reimbursements, local Water Fund money and Baysaver fees, staff said.

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