City council to fund safety precautions for public buildings, events, schools

City of Santa Clarita City Hall

Seeking more safety and security in Santa Clarita, the city council will approve increases to security services at their meeting Tuesday.

This contract will provide security guards for parks, libraries, Metrolink stations and the McBean Transfer Center.

According to Mayor Cameron Smyth, adding to the security budget is in line with the “council’s philosophy.”

“Santa Clarita prides itself in being one of safest cities in country,” Smyth said. “We always have to look at ways to continue that and ensure residents feel safe.”

The increase in security will cost the city an added $68,158 to Alltech Industries, Inc. In total, the city will now pay the company $351,765, plus a 10 percent contingency, equating to $386,942.

Under this contract, the city will pay the company through fiscal year 2020, equating to $49,199 in 2018, $16,754 in 2019 and $18,017 in 2020.

These added funds are partly needed to make up the difference of the increased state minimum wage.

Security guards provide a “visible deterrent” to injuries, vandalism and theft, according to the council agenda.

With more citywide special events during the summer, such as the Concerts in the Park, the fireworks show on July 4 and the Amgen Tour of California, the company requires more funding for added security.

The mayor said most often, people who attend events are there to enjoy themselves, but said it is important to ensure safety in large crowds in case someone makes a decision as a result of alcohol or anything else.

Also regarding safety in the valley, the council will approve $223,670 for the Safe Routes to School Plan, a nationwide initiative that encourages students to walk and ride their bicycles to school each day.

The plan encourages “active transportation” for students by identifying improvements that can be made to infrastructure and programs for schools in the valley.

“I’m somebody who rode my bike and walked to school in Santa Clarita and my kids do the same with their friends,” Smyth said.

Vehicles often drive quickly and recklessly in school zones, Smyth said, so it will be important to identify safe routes for children to walk and ride.

Eleven schools will be impacted by the program, including Canyon High School, Golden Valley High School, Hart High School, Saugus High School, Valencia High School, Arroyo Seco Junior High School, La Mesa Junior High School, Placerita Junior High School, Rio Norte Junior High School, Sierra Vista Junior High School and West Creek Academy.

Last year, Santa Clarita was given an Active Transportation Program grant of $160,000 with a local cost match of $40,000 through the California Department of Transportation to develop the Safe Routes to School Plan.

Additional business

Council members will adopt a declaration concerning the Canyon Country Community Center, verifying that the project will not have any negative impacts to the environment.

The council approved a contract for Michael Baker International to prepare the environmental documents in August 2016. This became available for public inspection in June 2017.

Also, the most up-to-date version of the mobile home park municipal code with be discussed as well.

Among the most recent changes includes decreasing the needed number of people in favor of an appeal hearing in order to hold one.

Additionally, the updated code discusses specific qualifications for an administrative hearing officer who would be hired to make appeal hearing decisions.

Code updates also include language changes concerning registration practices, the differences between a capital replacement and a repair and the timeliness of rent adjustment notices.

According to Mayor Smyth, the light council agenda is a result of accomplishments made in June.

“We were able to get most of the heavy lifting done prior to summer recess,” he said. “This meeting is meant to clean up the last few items so we can take care of bigger items come August.”

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