GLENDALE CITY COUNCIL MEETING PREVIEW

FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

The Glendale Redevelopment Agency will hear a report on the possible implications of the tentative Korean American Free Trade Agreement and consider sending a letter of support urging congressional delegates to ratify the measure.

Mayor Ara Najarian called for the report after receiving a request from the Korean American Chamber of Commerce to support the free trade agreement that reached tentative accord in August.

The agreement — which would be the largest free trade endeavor for South Korea, and the second largest for the United States — still requires congressional ratification.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 29 directed the county’s chief executive to draft a letter of support.

WHAT TO EXPECT

The report comes with no staff recommendation. Council members will likely discuss the trade agreement’s potential impact to the city’s ability to regulate international businesses within city boundaries. The council has previously issued statements criticizing the North American Free Trade Agreement for intruding on municipal governance.

WATER SYSTEM

Glendale Water & Power officials will ask the City Council to authorize $250,000 for as-needed engineering and consulting services as the utility embarks on an ambitious three-year water system capital improvement plan.

About 20 projects — including pump station upgrades, water main replacements, recycled water line extensions, connection improvements and other infrastructure enhancements — are planned over the next three years. Engineering work for the capital improvement exceeds the available staff time at the utility, which is already tapped out for more than a dozen major projects currently under way, according to city reports.

Some of the projects also exceed staff expertise, requiring the use of engineering consulting firms to help facilitate the work.

Four firms were chosen through an extensive review process to be “on call” as their services are needed. Projects costing more than $15,000 would initiate a competitive bidding process between the firms as the need arises.

The $250,000 fund would be used for those consulting services used in fiscal year 2007-08. Utility officials would then bring a report at the beginning of the next fiscal year outlining the actual costs incurred for professional services and make another funding request based on those figures.

WHAT TO EXPECT

The City Council will likely debate the issue, as some members have been skeptical for the need of added consulting costs for past projects. But with water officials reporting tapped-out staff resources, and the need for technical assistance on some projects, the City Council will likely approve the request with annual review.


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