Proposals for Capital Spending Draw City Council’s Scrutiny

The San Marino City Council has weighed in on proposals for the capital spending budget for the next fiscal year and expects to review the full budget proposal in earnest later this month.
Departments are now preparing their proposals with consideration of guidance and directives by the council, which has for the past month reviewed broad presentations on possible proposals by each department. The council has until June 30 to adopt the 2019-20 fiscal year document.
The body on Friday debated the merits of numerous proposals that would have to dip into the Capital Improvement Fund, ultimately approving them, setting placeholders for further review or striking them outright from consideration this year.
The city is expected to approve about $693,000 in expenditures for priority initiatives, which are projects identified by the City Council as vital to bring San Marino to the next level in terms of quality of life or service delivery. These include $90,000 for a license plate reader system to be operated by the Police Department, a new work order system for the Parks and Public Works Department and more than $373,000 for sidewalk upgrades and replacement.
Notably, the City Council decided not to spend $700,000 on an effort to assess the condition of all city-owned assets, reasoning that the city should prioritize what it reviews and not spend money evaluating relatively new buildings. There also was a $200,000 placeholder added to the line item on designing and rebuilding the Rose Arbor in Lacy Park, although that is expected to be modified once design work is completed and bids are received.
The council considered equipment purchases by department, giving a presumed green light to nearly $350,000 in acquisitions.
Under administration, this includes at least $89,700 for computer replacements throughout the city, although the council asked that the cost be updated to consider the computers in the Emergency Operations Center.
For the Police Department, $60,000 is set to be allocated for replacement computers in each patrol vehicle. Some of the devices are more than 10 years old.
As for the Fire Department, a proposed $90,000 to replace two command staff vehicles was halved to one vehicle, and another $38,000 for a replacement heart monitor for aid response also was approved.
A new trailered message board sign proposed by Parks and Public Works, estimated at $50,000, was denied.
There is a $25,000 placeholder under community services for the installation of a security camera system at Crowell Public Library, but the council has asked for additional cost estimates before it gives final approval.
The council also considered capital improvements to existing assets, totaling $4.242 million in projects slated for approval with the budget.
The bulk of these proposals is absorbed by a $3.5 million item for street rehabilitation, for which the city has a multiyear contract currently underway. There also was $70,000 approved for the replacement of the roll door at the fire station, a $314,000 placeholder for improvements to sewer lift stations and $155,000 for several replacements and improvements to the storm water system.

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