The Santa Clarita City Council returned Tuesday after its summer hiatus, unanimously approving additional funding for a million-dollar playground and the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, as well as a contract for unarmed security services for parks.
Council members approved a three-year contract to Pasadena-based Select Patrol Agency Inc. for security services in the amount of $2.16 million for various city parks, facility and events.
“It is expected that the presence of an appropriately uniformed security guard will serve as a visible deterrent and reduce the threat of injury to the public and to prevent damage, vandalism and loss of property within the parameters of each service location,” read the staff report, which specified that the city is seeking unarmed services.
Resident Alan Ferdman, however, said that the city should reconsider security personnel with “a little bit more robust ability to defeat any kind of threat that comes about for residents.”
“In today’s world, it’s a lot more dangerous than it used to be and we see a lot tragedies and fortunately for us it hasn’t happened here in Santa Clarita,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to protect ourselves.”
“At this point, we feel that the security services that we’re providing at those facilities in conjunction and cooperation with the Sheriff’s Department is sufficient to provide for the safety of our residents,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “We can never predict the future but we believe that we have that covered.”
The City Council also approved an additional $123,800 for Santa Clarita’s first inclusive play area, which is slated for construction at Canyon Country Park.
The play area will provide elements that welcome kids “regardless of ability or age, to play, learn, and grow together. This project will offer a balance of play experiences that promote integrated play for residents of all abilities and further develop physical, cognitive, sensory, communication and social skills,” according to the staff reports.
Based on input received from the public, which included adding features such as a drinking fountain and site lighting, the total cost of the project is estimated at $1.23 million.
The new sheriff’s station will receive an additional $3 million from Los Angeles County, following the City Council’s approval of a memorandum of understanding between both parties.
In April 18, construction bids for construction identified project costs to reach $61.1 million, resulting in an additional $10.1 million from the initial total estimate of $51 million. With the additional $3 million added, the county’s total contribution amounts to $18 million.