For the 11th consecutive year, the City of Santa Monica has received a technology award from the Public Technology Institute.

Santa Monica recently won two Technology Solutions Awards and received an outstanding achievement recognition from the Public Technology Institute for three new and innovative technology projects. The wins came in the Sustainability and Geospatial Information System (GIS) categories, where the city received awards for PC power management and GIS tools for the annual Homeless Count.

A centralized power management system pushes power management policies to work stations through the city network, according to Jory Wolf, Santa Monica’s chief information officer. This resulted in a 30.8-percent drop in power consumption, a calculated annual savings of more than $28,000, and 137,890 fewer calculated pounds of greenhouse gases produced each year, Wolf said.

Referring to the GIS category, Wolf said every year the city organizes a group of over 250 volunteers who walk an assigned neighborhood on a specific night, counting the homeless individually, recording locations, demographics, and the nature of their shelter. A county agency gathers similar data in local shelters, jail, motels, and hospitals.

This data is recorded into the city’s GIS where it is used to produce maps and reports that provide detailed and accurate statistics on Santa Monica’s homeless population.

Statistics on the homeless are used to determine federal, state, county, and city funding levels, to formulate new service programs, to measure the success of service programs, and as part of the U.S. Census, city officials said.

The city was also recognized for significant achievement for its beach parking automated payment system.

City officials have implemented several fully automated multi-bay parking meters (pay stations) as a pilot project, Wolf said. The system, which allows pre-paid parking reservations and provides real-time credit card use, monitoring, and reports, has proven more effective at helping to manage the city’s beach lots than any previous solution, Wolf said. The city plans to deploy 14 additional systems in other beach parking lots in the near future.

The PTI Technology Solutions Awards recognize local governments that use technology to increase revenues, improve service to their community, save tax dollars or improve management.

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