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.