GLENDALE CITY COUNCIL WRAP-UP

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

City Treasurer Ron Borucki on Tuesday briefed the City Council on the status of Glendale's $445-million investment portfolio, which ended the second quarter up $5 million against the backdrop of a worsening recession.

The gains were attributed to “healthy” property tax returns in a relatively mature housing market compared to other cities, but Borucki also cautioned that the unrelenting credit market freeze was continuing to present challenges.

The average rate of return fell from 3.56% to 3.34% for the quarter, reflecting falling interest rates.

The slip resulted in a $3.55-million return, down $395,000 from the first quarter, according to the quarterly report.

Return rates for state investments also fell.

As job losses continue to mount, and the housing market remains stuck in turmoil, Borucki said the upcoming stimulus bill currently under consideration in Washington would play a major role in affecting the coming fiscal quarters.

WHAT IT MEANS

The treasurer's report was for information only and required no City Council action.

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PATROL CARS UPGRADE

The City Council unanimously approved a $420,000, three-year contract with a private firm to upgrade and standardize the communications equipment in the police fleet.

Over time, individual equipment installations and upgrades have led to a morass of “unrelated technologies” in each of the 70 police vehicles. Similar platforms have been installed for other police departments in the county, including Santa Monica, Pomona and the Sheriff's Department.

WHAT IT MEANS

Through the contract with Airwave Communications Enterprises, the communications equipment will be standardized and integrated into a single operating platform, making maintenance and future upgrades easier and cheaper.

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TRAFFIC FLOW FUNDING

The City Council on Tuesday appropriated more than $2 million in county grant funding to projects that, once completed, are expected to ease traffic congestion on the surface streets around the Ventura (134) Freeway and Golden State (5) Freeway interchange.

Some of the money will also be used to install a combined 16 miles of underground communications and fiber optic cables to connect the city's Traffic Management Center to major traffic arteries in north Glendale, increasing the ability of authorities to synchronize traffic signals.

WHAT IT MEANS

The money comes via the county Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which doled out the funds based on project applications from all 88 cities in the county. Most of the projects are scheduled for completion in 2010.

SLEEPY HOLLOW SLOPE REPAIR

The City Council on Tuesday approved $206,118 to repair a storm-damaged slope above the 2700 block of Sleepy Hollow Place.

The project is part of the ongoing reconstruction effort of local hillsides as a result of the torrential storms of 2005 that caused widespread flooding and mudslides. While much of the reconstruction has been reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the project approved Tuesday will be funded by the city.

On Tuesday, Public Works officials will seek the go-ahead from the City Council on the second slope repair for Sleepy Hollow Place stemming from the torrential storms of 2005. But at $206,118, the project will cost 48% less than what the city engineer had originally estimated — a savings due largely to the competitive construction market, according to a city report.

Repairs on the slope were delayed until an agreement between the city and the neighborhood homeowners association was made, in which the city agreed to absorb the cost of reconstruction.

WHAT IT MEANS

The slope will be reconstructed to be more stable after rain saturation in January 2005 caused a landslide. The project is scheduled to be completed in June.


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