NEWPORT BEACH LOOKS TO OUTSOURCE STREET SWEEPING
Newport Beach is considering outsourcing its street sweeping program in an effort to curb spending in a time of slumping tax revenues.
“Everyone I know is looking for ways to cut costs, that’s our challenge with city government as well,” Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said. “We don’t live in a bubble — we have to look at our costs.”
Newport Beach spends about $1 million a year for its street sweeping program; the vast majority of that money goes to employee salaries and benefits, as well as equipment upkeep and maintenance, according to a city report on the matter.
The city is considering a 12-month pilot program that would put contracted street sweepers in select areas of the city five days a week.
The pilot program could begin as early as January.
CIVIC CENTER PLANS MOVE FORWARD
Councilwoman Nancy Gardner posed the $100-million-question Tuesday night to City Manager Dave Kiff about plans to build a new Newport Beach Civic Center.
“Are we confident we’re not galloping so down the path we can’t pull back if we feel it would better to wait and that sort of thing?” Gardner asked at this week’s City Council meeting.
The latest set of plans for the large-scale project include a 15,000 square-foot add-on to the Newport Beach Central Library and a roughly 4,900-square-foot emergency operations center. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the Civic Center project as high as $100 million.
Kiff reassured the council members they had up until construction bids for the project were submitted to decide on whether to hold off on the multimillion-dollar project.
The latest estimates on how much the project will cost should be available in November, he said.
A still-stagnant building market is good news for the city, because bids for large-scale public projects statewide are coming in as much as 50% below engineering estimates, Kiff said. Contractors are hungry for work, he said.
“It’s a great time to build a building like this or build a park like that,” Kiff said.
Architects will speak about the latest revisions to the design at the next Civic Center Design Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Newport Beach City Council Chambers, 3300 Newport Blvd.
The meeting also will be broadcast live on NBTV, available on Time-Warner Channel 3 and Cox channels 30 and 852 or at www.newportbeachca.gov.