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Pest Control, Cemetery Transport and Monitoring a Major Dig on Council's Agenda Tuesday
 

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By Jorge Casuso

January 28, 2020 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve contracts to keep pests out of City buildings, transport the deceased to the municipal mortuary and make sure a large major dig doesn't overlook paleontological finds.

The Council also is expected to choose Santa Monica College (SMC) to provide training to the 2,100 housekeepers in the city's 41 hotels and motels.

The costliest item on the consent agenda is a $100,00-a-year contract with four renewal options with West Coast Environmental Services to provide pest control at properties owned, occupied or leased by the City, staff said.

"To keep the City’s indoor and outdoor facilities safe and sanitary, the City must address rodent and insect pests," staff wrote in their report to Council.

The contract allows the "appropriate use of the least hazardous, selective pesticides only when non-chemical methods are ineffective," staff said.

The current contract expired last July.

The Council also is expected to award a contract to transport the bodies of the deceased to the mortuary at the City-owned Woodlawn Cemetery.

Under the $25,000 a year contract for five years, Carriage Transit Solutions, Inc. would provide "timely, around-the-clock transport of decedents from any location to the City’s mortuary."

The City would pay up front for the charges -- which are based on a “per decedent” charge from the vendor -- but immediately recover the cost from the client families as part of the cemetery’s revenues, staff said.

The cemetery -- which was purchased by the City in 1897 -- has provided mortuary services since 2011, but the company contracted to run the moruary in 2018 no longer provides transportation services.

Among those buried at Woodlawn are Abbot Kinney, the real estate baron who developed Venice, California; legendary surfer Ray Gabaldon, the state's first documented minority surfer, and student activist and politician Tom Hayden.

In a separate item, the Council is expected to hire a firm to monitor the excavation for a stormwater harvesting tank under the Civic Center Parking lot in the event "a discovery of paleontological resources" is made."

The City would pay Environmental Science Associates (ESA) an amount not to exceed $205,360 for three years for paleontological, archaeological, and cultural resource compliance monitoring services at the site.

The 1.5 million tank -- roughly the size of two Olympic swimming pools -- "will require the excavation and displacement of significant volumes of soil," staff wrote in its report.

Both the City and the California Coastal Commission "require qualified professionals to perform environmental monitoring and mitigation measures during excavation activities," staff said.

The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP) is expected to supply 1,680 acre-feet per year of clean and reliable water, or about 12 percent of the City’s annual water demand.

The treatment facility treats salty groundwater, stormwater and municipal wastewater mainly for irrigation and water flushing, staff said.

"SWIP would be a first-of-its-kind, innovative, and progressive Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWTF) to be permitted in California for groundwater recharge," staff said..

The Council also is expected to award a contract to SMC's Office of Workforce & Economic Development for "housekeeper safety training, working standards, compensation, and hotel-worker retention," staff said.

The training is part of an ordinance approved by the Council last August that protects housekeepers from sexual assaults and heavy workloads ("Santa Monica Council Unanimously Approves Groundbreaking Hotel Ordinance," August 28, 2019).

The ordinance requires hotels to install panic buttons and sets workload quotas on how many square feet a housekeeper can clean.

"Hotel employers will be responsible for paying for the cost of their employees to enroll in the training and certification program," staff said.


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