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SH City Council approves engineering contracts for infrastructure projects

Council also approves permit to extend hours and allow live music at Ten Mile Brewing Co.

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Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune
Finance Director Scott Williams (left) speaks at the Signal Hill City Council meeting on July 10 after Mayor Tina Hansen (right) presented him with a certificate for excellence in financial reporting of the city’s comprehensive annual financial report.

The Signal Hill City Council approved seven engineering-services contracts for numerous capital-improvement projects planned over the next two fiscal years. It also agreed to amend Ten Mile Brewing Company’s conditional-use permit (CUP) to extend its hours and allow live music. Among other presentations, the council awarded a proclamation to City Attorney Dave Aleshire recognizing his 40 years of service to the city.

Engineering contracts
The council authorized the city manager to enter into contract-service agreements with seven engineering firms for three years to assist the Public Works Department in executing approximately 40 ongoing and new capital-improvement projects over the next two years.

In June, the council had approved the capital-improvement plan, which includes completing the new library and the Los Cerritos Channel stormwater-capture project at Long Beach Airport, as well as park and street maintenance, for a budget of $20.6 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and $6.7 million in 2019-2020.

Kelli Tunnicliff, public works director, explained that the seven contracts will help ensure quality service and availability due to competition among the firms.

“Utilizing consultants as opposed to full-time staff provides the City with the flexibility to control costs as workload fluctuates in response to project activity,” Tunnicliff said.

Three firms– Wolfe Engineering, KPFF and KCG– will provide civil-engineering design services, for up to $150,000 annually for each. Three other firms– KOA, Simplus and Falcon Engineering Services– will provide project- and construction-management services, for up to $400,000 annually for each. Finally, one firm, HR Green, will provide code-enforcement services for an annual cost of up to $50,000.

Tunnicliff said she estimates the total cost of these services to the City will range from $1.6 million to $2.5 million annually and is already calculated into the project budgets.

City Attorney Dave Aleshire said that the City is trying this new system of contracting with multiple firms to assess how it will work.

“This is something of an experiment,” he said. “As staff works with the different contractors, it may be that the work will not all be evenly divided. What the cap does is require the need to come back to the council and report what’s going on. We can’t exceed the cap without the council approving it.”

Councilmember Lori Woods said she appreciated the innovative approach because it would allow the City to work on more than one project at a time.

“I think this is a brilliant solution,” she said. “As things move forward, as the funding becomes available, we’re going to have multiple projects going.”

In addition to approving contracts with those seven firms, the council also approved amending a contract with AndersonPenna Partners for engineering services for specific projects in order to temporarily fill the position of deputy director of Public Works, which has recently become vacant.

City Manager Charlie Honeycutt said that the additional contract amount of about $200,000 will be funded by salary savings while the City recruits candidates to fill the position.

Other expenses
The council also approved three other measures that impact public funds: authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract-services agreement for stormwater catch-basin cleaning, authorizing the purchase of replacement city vehicles– six budgeted plus one additional– and adopting a resolution updating City-management salaries.

To clear trash from the city’s 321 stormwater catch-basins, the council approved a three-year agreement with Ron’s Maintenance, Inc. (RMI) for $29,994 annually.

Though the City had a previous contract with RMI, it expired at the end of June. The new contract is a result of RMI’s bid to the Gateway Water Management Authority for collective services for its member cities, including Signal Hill, and is actually $4,000 less per year than the City’s previously contacted amount.

The council also authorized the purchase of replacing six City vehicles for $240,500, included in the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget adopted in June. In addition, it authorized $51,500 of unbudgeted expenses to replace a Police Department patrol vehicle that was damaged in a car accident in June.

The City will purchase those vehicles through Los Angeles County and National Joint Powers Alliance government-purchasing contracts that yield cost savings. The budgeted amounts include battery replacement costs for three hybrid vehicles.

Finally, the council adopted a resolution revising City management salary ranges to reflect a budgeted cost-of-living adjustment of 1 percent, in accordance with a Signal Hill Employees Association (SHEA) memorandum of understanding (MOU) adopted last year.

It also approved adopting a publicly available citywide pay schedule as required by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and in accordance with the SHEA MOU and a Police Officers Association MOU also adopted last year. The latter MOU includes a budgeted cost-of-living adjustment of 1.5 percent for police officers.

Brewery CUP
After conducting a public hearing and receiving no objections, the council approved amending the conditional-use permit (CUP) for Ten Mile Brewing Company to extend its hours of operation, allow food-truck service during those hours, add an outdoor beer-tasting area and allow live music on site.

Colleen Doan, newly designated planning manager, shared the brief history of Ten Mile Brewing since its initial CUP in 2016 and its September 2017 opening in a commercial-industrial plaza at Willow Street and Cerritos Avenue. She noted that a neighborhood meeting six months after the brewery opened yielded no complaints.

Doan said that the company will conduct another neighborhood meeting six months after these amendments to make sure there are no noise complaints.

“We haven’t heard from the neighbors across the street, so things are good,” said Councilmember Edward Wilson, jokingly referring to those interred at the Sunnyside Cemetery.

Dave Aleshire
Mayor Tina Hansen awarded Aleshire with a proclamation in Plexiglas in recognition of his 40th anniversary serving the city.

Hansen read from the proclamation that Aleshire had started as deputy city attorney in 1978 and became city attorney in 1985.

“Under his counsel, the city has been transformed into a highly desirable place to live, work, shop and play,” she said. “Dave’s negotiation to bring Price Club (now Costco) to Signal Hill set the stage for future development that has become the city’s economic engine, including the Signal Hill Auto Center, [and] Town Centers East, West and North.”

Anita W. Harris | Signal Tribune
During the July 10 Signal Hill City Council meeting, the council awarded a proclamation to City Attorney Dave Aleshire (fourth from left) commemorating his 40 years of service with the City. Also pictured from left: City Treasurer Larry Blunden, Councilmembers Lori Woods and Edward Wilson, Mayor Tina Hansen, Councilmembers Robert Copeland and Larry Forester and City Clerk Keir Jones.

Hansen also described Aleshire’s background in city planning that helped the City create desirable residential developments and affordable housing, as well as parks and trails.

Hansen said that, significantly, Aleshire created the Signal Hill Oil Code in response to changing state regulations, which other cities are using as a model.

In receiving the honor, Aleshire put his role in the context of others in Signal Hill, some of whom came before him.
“The changes that have occurred in this place […] represent the vast number of people with desires who made efforts and commitments and sacrifices, and what you see before you is the end result of all of those things,” he said.

Finance presentations
Hansen also presented Finance Director Scott Williams with an achievement award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)– a professional association of approximately 19,000 in the United States and Canada– for excellent reporting in the City’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

“A certificate of achievement is presented to those government units whose annual financial reports are judged to adhere to program standards and represents the highest award in government financial reporting,” Hansen read from the certificate.

Williams underscored that the award was for his whole department as well as the City.

“It’s really the cumulative work product of the entire finance team,” he said. “As the stated goal of the Finance Department is to produce timely as well as accurate and relevant data, the City achieving this award really represents a milestone of the department.”

Hansen introduced a new member of the Finance Department, accountant Jessica Alvarez, who holds a B.S. in accounting from CSULB and has 17 years of experience in the automotive industry and as an accounting manager for an aerospace company.

“Jessica’s family migrated from Guadalajara, Mexico to Long Beach when she was 7 years old,” Hansen said. “She learned the value of education and hard work from her parents early on and is forever grateful to them for their selflessness in pursuing a better life for their family.”

The next Signal Hill City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, July 24, at 7pm in the council chamber at 2175 Cherry Ave.

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SH City Council approves engineering contracts for infrastructure projects