City will save money on park lights

DOWNEY - Treasure Island Park will receive its lights sooner than expected and at a significantly lower cost to taxpayers than previously thought.On March 10, the City Council appropriated $180,000 to install security lighting at the end of the cul-de-sacs on the west end of the park. Nine bids were received from contractors, the lowest $44,532. But during a meeting between city officials, neighborhood residents and public works, it was decided that existing lights could be increased in wattage and brightness. As a result, the City Council on Tuesday rejected all received bids. The city paid $5,200 and Southern California Edison is expected to increase the existing lights' wattage by the first week of December, Public Works Director Brian Ragland wrote in a staff report. The project will include the installation of shields to block the light from entering residential areas. When the new lights are installed, city officials will determine if additional lighting is necessary. "For these areas, solar powered park lights have been proposed in order to eliminate trenching in the park and to provide the City with the opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness," Ragland wrote. In other action Tuesday, the City Council: •Approved warrants totaling $3.26 million; •Filed a report by Councilmen David Gafin and Luis Marquez reviewing the food and beverage operations at Rio Hondo Event Center. The six-month review was spurred by a handful of complaints regarding the center's catering company, which contracts with the city. Clubs and organizations who frequently use the center were surveyed, and customer survey cards were left inside Hacker's restaurant and in the golf club, Gafin said. The city received "a rather good reply to the surveys," Gafin said. "Overall it's doing very well." Gafin and Marquez met with the catering company to discuss "minor issues," such as slow service. A letter addressing those issues was sent to catering company owner Marc Shelton, Gafin said. The council members will revisit the issue in six months to see if the issues have been addressed. •Appropriated $21,258 in state recreation grant funds for the Discovery Sports Complex; •Amended the professional services agreement between the city and RMC Water and Environment increasing Downey's funding obligation to complete additional activities associated with the Sanitary Sewer System Master Plan; •Approved the installation of a stop sign on Boyne Street at Patton Road. In recommending the stop sign, city officials expressed concern for school children from nearby Alameda Elementary School; •Declared its intention to establish the west side of Bellflower Boulevard from the 105 Freeway to approximately 900 feet north of Imperial Highway as an "underground utility district." The council also set a public hearing for Jan. 12 and directed the director of public works to prepare and file an engineer's report; •Viewed a PowerPoint presentation city employee Kevin Ellis on the girl's basketball program; Presented the mayor's Diakonia Award to William Coomes; •Viewed a one-minute video presentation recognizing Downey as a finalist for the "Most Business Friendly City Award," which was ultimately won by Long Beach. The next meeting of the Downey City Council will be Dec. 8 at 6 p.m., when the Council elects the city's next mayor.

********** Published: November 27, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 32