No Protests For N.Y. Style Light Pole Assessment In Santa Monica

Monday, 18 Mar 2013, 8:47:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

A few

residential blocks in Santa Monica’s north of Montana area were recently

adorned with new street light poles to the tune of almost $155,000.

Anyone who

wanted to lodge a protest to the City Council about the assessed cost of

installing the new lights had an opportunity to do so March 12. Interestingly

enough, no residents participated in the public hearing and Council members

formally confirmed the assessed costs.

Council

members in 2008 created streetlight assessment districts from Fifteenth Street

from Alta Avenue to Montana Avenue and Urban Avenue

from Yorkshire Avenue to Dorchester Avenue. Within those two districts, New

York-style streetlights were installed as part of a “collaborative effort”

between City Hall and area residents “to provide enhanced street lighting on

15th Street from Montana Avenue to Alta Avenue.”

“The project constructed

new ornamental style street light poles, post-top luminaires, and the associated

underground electrical system,” City staff stated.

Construction was complete

in May 2012 and the total cost of the project was $154,932.09. City Hall spent $79,642.35

on the project while property owners contributed $75,289.74. Notice of

completion was issued two months later.

According to State law,

the City Council was required to hold a public hearing to determine whether

anyone protested or objected to the final cost assessment. That hearing was

officially held March 12 as part of the council’s sole public meeting this

month.

Council

members approved the cost assessment after no one approached the dais in

protest or objection.

In

all, 10 ornamental New York-style aluminum street light poles were installed in

the small neighborhood near Fifteenth Street and Montana Avenue. City staff

added 26 properties were affected by the installation of the street lights.

Affected property owners

were informed of the hearing on Jan. 24.

With the council adopting

the resolution confirming the assessment costs, City Hall can now move forward

in billing the property owners “for their share of the costs based on the front

footage of their property.”

According to City staff,

the total cost of the project is $100.46 per linear foot. City Hall is

responsible for $50.23 per linear foot, which was below the estimated $53.50

the City of Santa Monica expected to pay when the assessment districts were

created.

“Property owners have the

option of paying in full within 30 days after being invoiced, or through a

bonding company selected by the contractor over a ten-year period at an annual

interest rate of 3.25 percent,” City staff stated. “The calculated rate is

based on per linear front footage multiplied by $50.23. The property

owners have the option to pay off their assessments later, even if they elect a

payment schedule initially.”

Only property owners are

billed by City Hall. Those who own controlled units are not permitted to pass

the bill on to their tenants.

Design of the street

lights cost $4,900, while construction cost $132,116.13. The bill for

construction management and administrative fees was $17,915.96.

When the council approved

the construction contract in August 2011, the total project cost was estimated

at more than $175,000.

California-based Freeway

Electric, Inc., was selected to complete the project.

Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.