Harbor issues, outsourcing on Newport's agenda

The Newport Beach City Council may have one foot out the door of its Newport Boulevard chambers as the group prepares to move to its new digs in Corona del Mar in early December, but it'll be business as usual Tuesday night at the council's regular meeting.

On the meeting's agenda are two items related to outsourcing city services to private companies and several looks at harbor-related issues.


Outsourcing printing

The council is expected to vote to contract out the city's printing services to Office Depot, a move that is expected to save about $70,000 per year. One full-time employee will be laid off, and another full-time employee will be retiring, according to a staff report.

As the city digitizes more and more of its operations that previously required printed documents, running an in-house print shop made less fiscal sense, the report said.

Over the last decade, the number of copies the print shop makes dropped from 5.1 million to less than 1.8 million.

Furthermore, there will be no print shop at the new Civic Center.

The Office Depot contract will cost about $200,000 per year for three years, whereas the current annual cost of maintaining a city department tallies up to about $270,000 per year.


Refuse collection study

While they won't be asked to make a decision just yet, council members will consider a report on the possibility of outsourcing the city's trash services to private haulers.

The report, which consulting firm HF&H; Consultants compiled, analyzes the costs and benefits of Newport's public waste collection and looks at whether a private company could more efficiently provide those services.

While some multifamily housing complexes and a few other areas already have private companies collecting their trash, the city has a 24-member staff and its own equipment to pick up the rest.

The report finds some possible savings if the city's waste collection is restructured, however numerous factors — including various state regulations and expectations that a high level of service will continue — are at play, making whether or not to outsource a complex decision.

Tuesday, the city may opt to simply listen to the report or put in motion a process to solicit proposals from private companies to provide similar services. In the latter case, the city could still decide to continue its own refuse collection services down the line.


Harbor issues

The council will likely vote to accept two forward-looking reports pertaining to Newport Harbor, and in another agenda item, the council may move forward on the replacement of sea walls around Balboa Island.

In a workshop Nov. 13, the Harbor Commission presented its objectives for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which included various strategies to maintain the welfare of the harbor and promote it as a destination for visitors. Tuesday, the council is expected to officially accept those goals.

The council is also expected to review and approve a five-year tidelands capital plan, which lays out anticipated start dates and cost estimates for various harbor projects.

One of the projects listed (at a to-be-determined cost) is the replacement of decaying Balboa Island seawalls.

Council members and city staffers have warned of rising sea levels and deteriorating infrastructure over the years. Tuesday, the council will consider a $222,800 contract with URS Corporation to start developing improvement concepts for the seawalls around Balboa Island and Little Balboa Island.

Finally, the council may vote to change the name of Farallon Drive in the Newport Center area to something that better describes its new neighbors: Civic Center Drive.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 3300 Newport Blvd.


Twitter: @jillcowan

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