About that fence

A couple weeks ago, I was in contact with city staff about Sand Dune Park. As an aside, the city noted “FYI, there will be a City Council Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) “public town hall” study session next Tuesday (9/28) at 6:30pm in the Police/Fire Community Room. Among the issues to be discussed are potential future ammenities at the sand dune (e.g., fencing, landscaping, etc.).” So I did a bit of sleuthing, and could not find any mention on the City Council agenda page, where upcoming meetings are generally listed. Eventually, I found the meeting notice and agenda through a site search. Here’s a screen capture from the agenda, where city staff added the costs of the two fencing options. That worked out to $200,000 plus 40% admin costs, for a total of $280,000.

Sand Dune Park capital spending proposal

Upon seeing this, I wrote a short blog post & several CORE members contacted city council, who in turn contacted city staff. That soon elicited a response from Jim Arndt (Manhattan Beach Public Works director), which I’ve included in full at the end of this blog post. Long story short, there were 2 fencing options being considered, one would cost $79,800 ($57,000 + 40% administrative overhead) and the other $199,500 ($142,500 + 40% administrative overhead); the original agenda item had combined these two costs. Jim Arndt closes the email with this recommendation, which was not in the original staff report, “As a final note, because operation of the Dune only began in August and there hasn’t been much time to observe impacts, staff will recommend that any improvements selected be delayed until next year’s CIP to better understand impacts and ensure that the current operating schedule meets Council’s expectations.”

So that was already good news. At the meeting that evening, Chuck Trucker of CORE attended and spoke in favor of removing the fence, the only resident in attendance to speak on the subject. Following the meeting we received emails from two city council members about the proposed fence. One council member wrote, “Thank you for your email. Tonight, the City Council decided to defer a decision on the installation of the fencing (estimated at $57K) until after the Sand Dune trial period (and resulting review of the usage statistics/info). Moreover, there is consideration of potentially removing the fence on a trial basis, but it’s premature to do it right now.” A second council member added, “So we met tonight and the plan moving forward is for staff to implement the improvements to the park including greening, shade, benches, etc. We won’t address the dune until early spring, at a public meeting, of course. We will all have the opportunity at that time to discuss fencing/no fencing options, etc. and how the program is working. At that point, and based on our decisions then, we will decide the money allocations.”

That’s pretty much the whole story, start to finish. CORE looks forward to working with city staff, the City Council, dune users and park neighbors to develop a workable operational plan for the dune at Sand Dune Park that won’t require any fence. Thanks.

Email from Jim Arndt

Mr. Rome,

Below is an email sent to the Council regarding the fence at Sand Dune. I apologize for the error in the fence cost estimate. If you have any questions regarding the fence alternative or costs, please let me know.

Additionally, I would direct you to the last three paragraphs of the email that note these are only options of which the Council can choose to do any of it, all of it, or some of it.

Thanks and please contact me if I can answer any questions you may have.

-Jim

COUNCIL EMAIL
Some of you have questions regarding Sand Dune CIP item contained in your Council item for tonight. The Sand Dune cost estimate detail may be found in your Appendix 2, wherein lies the various components that make up the cost estimate (including the fence).

There is an error in the Sand Dune cost estimate. The sub-total shown as $260,675 includes costs for both fencing options, “black vinyl clad chain link” ($57,000) and “fencing upgrade”, such as the more expensive tubular steel, (142,500). There should be two cost options for consideration, depending on the fencing option the Council chooses. Recalculating the costs based on fence choice, the projects costs change to:

Black Vinyl Clad Option
Sub-total……………………$118,175
40% Admin Cost………….. 46,825
Total……………………… $165,000

Fencing Upgrade Option
Sub-total…………………… $203,675
40% Admin Cost…………… 81,325
Total……………………… $285,000

Also, to be clear, these two cost items do not represent the fence recommended but rather bracket the low and high estimated costs of fence options. It assumes that fence would surround the entire site. All choices of fence type, number of sides to be fenced (if any at all), and any other project items included in the cost estimate, are at the sole discretion of the Council…they are only included to give Council some idea of costs of items that have been brought up in recent Sand Dune discussions.

As a final note, because operation of the Dune only began in August and there hasn’t been much time to observe impacts, staff will recommend that any improvements selected be delayed until next year’s CIP to better understand impacts and ensure that the current operating schedule meets Council’s expectations.

I apologize for the error in the cost estimate and any confusion and inconvenience it may have caused.

-Jim

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