From left to right: Councilman Bill Miranda, Councilman Cameron Smyth, Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Capt. Robert Lewis, Mayor Laurene Weste, City Manager Ken Striplin and Councilman Bob Kellar break ground for the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on Golden Valley Road in Canyon Country on Wednesday. Cory Rubin/The Signal

City Council to discuss construction stages of new sheriff’s station

Santa Claritans may soon see vertical construction of the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station as the City Council is set to discuss the project Tuesday, as well as whether to support or oppose several legislative bills.

At their upcoming regular meeting, council members will consider approving onsite construction plans, or Phase III-B, of the 45,000-square-foot sheriff’s station, currently underway at Golden Valley Road.

Their decision will also approve the construction contract to Los Angeles-based Icon West Inc. in the amount of $47.4 million, as well as green-light the extension of current contracts.

Based on contracts awarded and those still pending, the total cost of the construction is estimated at $67.3 million, the staff report read. Funds include $18 million from L.A. County, $24.3 million from city “funds on hand,” and $25 million “in net proceeds from a proposed tax-exempt bond issuance.”

“Upon approval of the recommended actions, adequate funds will be available in the budget to provide for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Phase III-B construction and construction support contracts as well as all anticipated project costs,” said the agenda report.

The project recently completed Phase III-A, which included grading, retaining walls, drainage improvements and erosion control. The next phase would now involve the actual construction of the main building and the vehicle maintenance facility, detention facility, helipad, visitor parking, as well as landscaping and furnishing.

Bills

The City Council will also look at either supporting or opposing five different bills Tuesday, including Assembly Bill 1356, which would require more cities to open cannabis shops.

Staff is recommending that council members oppose AB 1356.

Should this bill pass, local jurisdictions that banned recreational cannabis businesses would be forced to allow some to open if more than 50% of voters supported Proposition 64 on November 2016, which legalized cannabis in California.

About 52.2% of votes in support of the measure were recorded in Santa Clarita, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.

The city’s current law, under Chapter 17.51 of its municipal code, prohibits any commercial cannabis activity, including marijuana shops but under AB 1356, the city would be required to issue a minimum of 23 retail commercial cannabis licenses. A lesser amount could also be allowed through a City Council vote.

The bill would need a two-thirds vote by both houses of the Legislature to pass. It is currently en route for a third reading in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

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