It was a night of awards at the Sept. 26 Signal Hill City Council meeting as the council approved contracts for various services– including building a new dog park– and presented prizes to the winners of the 2017 Summer Photo Contest. The council also recognized the sponsors and volunteers who made the summer concerts-in-the-park series possible.
The council approved awarding a contract to build a Signal Hill dog park to DD Systems, Inc., for approximately $729,000, which includes a 10-percent contingency and requires transferring about $289,000 from the Park Development Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund.
“As we’re seeing in our other capital-improvement projects, there’s been quite an escalation in construction costs, and the dog-park bids are no exception,” explained City Manager Charlie Honeycutt.
Public Works Director Kelli Tunnicliff added that DD Systems was the lowest responsible bidder out of 13, and that the highest bid received was for $1.2 million.
The 1.5-acre dog park will be located at 3100 California Ave., south of the 405 Freeway and across the street from the Gateway Shopping Center.
Tunnicliff showed a map of the park’s design, which has a small-dog area of about 2,000 square feet, a large-dog area of about 4,500 square feet and, at the center, a covered public gathering area of 315 square feet. Surfaces will be covered by a combination of artificial turf and decomposed granite.
The plan also includes a parking lot of approximately 8,555 square feet.
Tunnicliff estimated that the park would be completed by the end of 2017.
Though Honeycutt mentioned that the park was designed with input from the Parks and Recreation Commission, Mayor Edward Wilson expressed concern that there would be enough artificial turf space for dogs compared to other space for humans.
Staff said they would look into whether the design could still be modified without affecting the budget and would also check about Councilmember Lori Woods’s question regarding the maturity of trees that would be installed.
“Overall, I think it’s a great concept,” Wilson said. “We are excited about a dog park […], so let’s just try to make it the best dog park it could possibly be.”
The council also approved awarding three additional contracts for engineering work, artwork refurbishment and redesigning the City’s website.
Honeycutt recommended that AndersonPenna Partners, Inc. be approved to continue providing interim engineering and project-management services to the City, such as for the dog park, while the Public Works Department issued a request for proposals for permanent on-call engineering services.
The council had approved a contract for engineering services with AndersonPenna in February 2017 for $61,000 and amended to continue in June 2017 for an additional $14,000.
Tunnicliff explained that the new contract amendment for an additional $83,800 for the remainder of the year includes construction-management services already budgeted for the dog park, which was supposed to have been done by engineering firm RKA Consulting but they cannot continue as of Nov. 4.
The council also approved awarding a contract for refurbishing artwork at Hilltop Park to Murphy Industrial Coatings, Inc., for $47,190, which includes a 10-percent contingency and requires a budget adjustment of $13,190.
Finally, the council approved amending an existing contract with governmental website designers CivicPlus to redesign the City’s existing website.
Deputy City Manager Hannah Shin-Heydorn explained that changes would include a more responsive design in which the site’s layout would adapt to differently sized screens, such as those on smartphones and tablets. The Signal Hill mobile app would also be redesigned to match the website.
Given all the budget adjustments due to increasing costs, Wilson requested staff to compile a quarterly update of all adjustments made.
“We need a better look at the whole picture to see what all these changes are doing,” Wilson said. “And part of that is out of our control because the market has picked up and everyone is charging more than they have in the past. But that also has an effect on how we do things going forward.”
The council conducted a brief second reading and adopted the vacant parcel ordinance that it had considered and approved at its previous meeting on Sept. 12.
The ordinance expands existing stormwater and urban runoff pollution control by imposing soil erosion and sediment control measures on unimproved vacant parcels of one acre or more, as mandated by the City’s water-management plans.
The ordinance was approved again by all three attending councilmembers (Vice Mayor Tina Hansen and Councilmember Robert Copeland were absent), with a caveat by Councilmember Lori Woods echoing her concern about owners from the previous meeting.
“I second [the motion to approve] the ordinance with the continued understanding that the property owners be given as much time as feasibly possible to get their properties in compliance,” she said.
The council also approved a Senate Bill (SB) 1-project list for fiscal year 2017-18, which would allow state Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account funds to be used for the City’s pavement management program and the Spring Street overlay project.
“This year, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 1, known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act,” Honeycutt explained. “The purpose of this bill was to raise revenue to improve local roads and transportation infrastructures throughout the state.”
Honeycutt added that to raise these revenues, SB 1 would increase gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, increase diesel fuel tax by 20 cents per gallon and increase car registration by between $100 and $150 per year.
Signal Hill is expected to receive about $66,000 this year as a partial payment from this fund, which will increase to about $200,000 next year.
“The city council was a strong advocate to increase funding for small cities, so we get our fair share for the road improvements we need to do,” Honeycutt said.
The city council and the Signal Hill Community Foundation shared a two-minute video highlighting the City’s summer concerts-in-the-park series, featuring various bands, attendees of all ages, sponsors and The Voice of Signal Hill contest participants.
“I’m very proud to say that this year’s concerts were by far the best yet,” Wilson said.
He recognized the sponsors and volunteers with certificates of appreciation acknowledging their efforts.
“We could not have made all this possible without our generous sponsors,” he said. “These sponsors have provided the funding needed to host the summer concert series, and we absolutely could not do it without them.”
After recognizing representatives from several corporate sponsors, including Signal Hill Petroleum, Caldwell Banker, Free To Be Me Performing Arts Academy and the Signal Tribune newspaper, Wilson also individually acknowledged and thanked the numerous volunteers.
“All these volunteers are essential to our mission of providing a high-quality, family-friendly, good time. Without them, we would not be able to do everything we do during the concert series,” Wilson said.
Finally, Wilson awarded certificates and prizes to the winners of the 2017 Summer Photo Contest.
“Residents of Signal Hill were asked to submit photos taken around Signal Hill, trying to capture the essence of Signal Hill,” Wilson explained, as the winning photos were shown.
In new business, Wilson described attending a regional mayor’s breakfast at Santa Anita Park with all Los Angeles County mayors, hosted by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Among other pertinent topics discussed, Garcetti presented on the Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Los Angeles in 2028. However, Wilson explained that Olympic events would be held all over L.A. County, including Carson and Long Beach.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a tremendous boon for the L.A. area.”
The next Signal Hill City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7pm in the council chamber at 2175 Cherry Ave.