The Santa Monica City Council voted to spend more than $3 million on parking contracts, building contracts and an ambulance Tuesday, June 22nd.

Parking Concepts, Inc. was awarded approximately $2.4 million for the first year of a three-year agreement.

The city wants to consolidate downtown, beach, pier and library parking operations under one management contract.

“Future year costs will be appropriated in future-year operating budgets,” a staff report said.

The City Council approved a $441,020 bid from AWI Builders, Inc. to upgrade the SAMOSHEL Homeless Shelter.

Federal Community Development Block Grant funds will be used to construct a commercial kitchen and full-height partition separating walls and install a fire alarm/sprinkler system.

The 100-bed shelter, built in 1994, allows homeless to stay in the facility for up to six months. Homeless persons receive counseling, employment assistance and help with locating permanent housing.

Santa Monica Councilman Bob Holbrook voted against giving the shelter any more money.

“I voted more than ten years ago for a temporary shelter as part of a continuum of care for the homeless in Santa Monica to assist them in getting off the street and back to lives that would be more useful to them in the community,” Holbrook said.

“This shelter has now become a permanent shelter and it hasn’t, in my opinion, accomplished what it was supposed to do. I don’t think it really reduced the number of homeless people in Santa Monica,” he said.

The City Council approved a $523,480 bid, also from AWI Builders, Inc., to make additions to the city Woodlawn Cemetery and Mausoleum.

“The project has been designed to include cost-effective ‘green’ building features,” a staff report said.

“Green” features will include energy-efficient lighting and building materials that have “high recycled content.”

The City Council approved a $483,000 bid from the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership for design services for the pedestrian extension of the Downtown Transit Mall Project.

The streetscape project is on Second and Fourth Streets, between Wilshire Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.

The project is the third phase of a 1997 plan and includes pedestrian lighting, replacing every other street tree and possible parkway landscaping.

Funding will come from Los Angeles County Transportation Enhancement Activity grant dollars and Proposition C Local Return funds.

The city spent approximately $130,000 to purchase a paramedic ambulance from Lifeline Ambulance, Inc. for the Santa Monica Fire Department Fire Suppression Division.

The ambulance is one of three ambulances in the city and will replace a 1996 model that was kept as a reserve ambulance.

BUS TO L.A. — In other business, the City Council approved Councilman Mike Feinstein’s request that the city provide a Big Blue Bus to transport Santa Monica residents from Santa Monica City Hall to Los Angeles City Hall so that Santa Monica residents could attend a Los Angeles Planning Commission meeting Thursday, July 8th, concerning Playa Vista Phase II development plans.

“I’m responding to requests from the community. Parts of the requests emphasize having a Big Blue of our own to bring people together from a starting point and an ending point and for the added publicity,” Feinstein said.

The Santa Monica City Council previously took a position against Phase II, claiming Playa Vista plans will negatively affect the environment and traffic in Santa Monica.

Feinstein said reserving a Big Blue Bus will cost the city $600. Funds will come from the Council Discretionary Account.

Councilmembers Bob Holbrook and Pam O’Connor voted against the Feinstein request because Big Blue Bus Line 10 already leaves Santa Monica from a station close to Santa Monica City Hall and stops in front of Los Angeles City Hall.

Holbrook and O’Connor noted that the cost is $3 roundtrip if passengers want to privately take the bus to Los Angeles and that spending $600 of city money for a special trip is inappropriate.