Costa Mesa may choose to keep street services in-house

The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday may approve keeping the city's street and storm drain maintenance in-house, instead of contracting out to a private company or another government agency.

As part of the city's outsourcing initiative, officials last year requested proposals (RFP) for contractors to take over those city services, but received no bids.

Administrators recommend that the council stick with the municipal work force instead.

Since the RFP was issued, the city restructured the Street and Storm Drain Maintenance Division, cutting the budget by $624,912, or by about 40%.

City officials found that the division performs a wide array of services — from pothole repair to picking up abandoned shopping carts — while they produced the RFP.

Public Services Director Ernesto Munoz said this was likely why they received no bids. No single contractor performs all of those duties, he said, unless they retain expensive subcontractors.

If the council approved the plan to keep services in-house, it would rescind five employee pink slips.

— Mike Reicher

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