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Council to Take Up Crowded Consent Calendar


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By Jorge Casuso

May 10, 2024 -- The City Council on Tuesday will take up a lengthy consent calendar that includes keeping a water preservation plan in place and expanding the use of landfills.

Among the 17 items that normally require little or no comment is a plan to keep the City in a Stage 2 Water Shortage Level that has a "20 percent water conservation target" despite a 9 percent water supply surplus.

"Staying in Stage 2 helps the City achieve its long-term water goals to reduce its reliance on imported water supplies and increase local control of water production costs," staff wrote in a report to the Council.

For the past decade, the City has remained in Stage 2, which calls for a 20 percent reduction in water demand from 2013 water usage levels.

The response actions include water use allowance on bills, restriction and enforcement on irrigation runoff or water waste, and water conservation rebates such as turf replacement.

The item is one of four related to water on Tuesday's consent calendar.

In a separate item, the Council is expected to authorize a five-year $420,000 contract with NBS Government Finance Group "to analyze the existing water/wastewater rate structure" and establish a new one for the next five years.

The Council also will consider entering into contracts with three area landfills to provide backup due to limits and delays at its primary landfill, the 639-acre Chiquita Canyon in Castaic, California.

The contracts totaling about $5.3 million over the next ten years are being proposed by staff as landfills in the region are closing down or limiting use to their own jurisdictions.

"As there will not likely be any new landfills established and as the capacity of existing landfills continues to shrink, cities will begin to vie for their use," staff wrote in recommending the 10-year contracts with the three vendors.

Each year, the City annually generates some 63,500 tons, or 127 million pounds, of landfill trash that is sent to landfill facilities in the Southern California region.

The Council also will consider a $3.5 million contract with Environmental Construction, Inc., that would "improve safety for students, parents, and faculty who walk and bike" to six Santa Monica public schools.

The project would add new curb extensions and ramp upgrades, improve sidewalks, add new or improved crosswalks and install rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) and pavement markings.

The improvements also include enhancing bicycle accommodations and modifying on-street parking and short-term loading signage "to better facilitate school pick-up and drop-off needs."

The improvements would be installed around McKinley Elementary, Edison Language Academy, Santa Monica Alternative Schoolhouse, John Muir Elementary, Franklin Elementary, and Grant Elementary.

Also on the consent calendar is a $1.25 million street project at Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street that "represents a comprehensive effort to enhance transportation infrastructure and connectivity in the Bergamot area," according to staff.

"The Project prioritizes safety and accessibility for the City’s most vulnerable roadway users, children, seniors, pedestrians, and bicyclists," staff wrote.

Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2024, and last for approximately 6 months.

In addition, the Council will consider extending the “Any Line, Any Time” unlimited ride transit program with Santa Monica College (SMC) for another two years and extending for another year a contract with West Coast Care Foundation for homeless outreach services.

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