SLO to spend extra $90,000 on new parking signs
October 9, 2011
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The San Luis Obispo City Council approved a $91,500 increase in the cost of a parking sign replacement project at its October 4 meeting.
City staffers told the council in July that the project would cost $11,000, but Parking Services Manager Robert Horch said Tuesday that $102,500 must now be allocated from the parking fund to complete the work. Horch said that a heavy workload has been tying down the city streets crew, so the task needs to be contracted out to a private firm for a bid within an engineer’s estimate of $82,000.
Despite staff’s mismanagement of the project, a majority of the city council voted to move forward with the suggestion to contract the parking sign replacement.
Mayor Jan Marx said the new proposal confused and frustrated her, but she voted for it anyway.
“We didn’t get good information in the first place, and now I don’t understand what we are approving,” Marx said. “I’m going to say to staff, “Please don’t ever do this again.”
In voting with Marx, Vice Mayor John Ashbaugh also said he would continue to place faith in city staff to do the job correctly.
“Despite that the initial estimate was incorrect, I continue to have confidence that this estimate will be correct,” Ashbaugh said.
Council member Andrew Carter cast the remaining vote of approval, while Council members Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith dissented.
As part of the project overhaul, the council also decided to delay implementation of Sunday parking fees until early 2012.