|The City of Brea has been sweeping City streets for over 50 years. In early 2016, City Council directed staff to explore the possibility of contracting these services and compare contract costs to in-house costs and assess if long term ongoing savings could be achieved.
From mid-2016 to late 2018, staff provided a number of updates to City Council either at Study Session or General Session. These discussions resulted with the implementation of a street sweeping pilot program that reduced the street sweeping frequency from weekly to twice per month and suspended street sweeping enforcement. The pilot program would be for one year from March 2019 through March 2020, and street sweeping would continue to be performed by City staff. Given the unprecedented COVID pandemic, the City Council has continued the pilot program and remains in effect to this day.
The most recent City Council updates on this topic occurred on September 15, 2020 and April 6, 2021. At these meetings, staff provided background and presented updates on the pilot street sweeping program, including results from a resident survey that was conducted for specific areas/streets where parking on street sweeping days remains a challenge. At the April 6, 2021 meeting, City Council directed staff to continue observing parking patterns through the beginning of the Fall 2021 school year and provide another update to City Council in August/September 2021. This report includes data and observations since the last City Council update on April 6, 2021 through September 10, 2021, along with some prior information for context.
The following is an update on the Parked Cars, Complaint Log, Enforcement, Recommendation and Implementation / Outreach:
As mentioned in prior reports, the parked cars data was broken down between the Original Pilot Term Period (March 2019 to March 2020: Pre-Covid) and the Extended Period Term (currently April 2020 to September 2021: Covid). See Attachment A and B respectively for the detailed parked car data as reference.
According to the data, it appears that once the pilot program began in March 2019 and enforcement was suspended, the number of parked cars steadily continued to rise. At the end of the Original Pilot Term, an average of 265 cars were parked on the streets on any given street sweeping day. This number peaked to 510 cars a day from April 2020 to September 2020. From October 2020 to September 2021, the daily average number of cars parked on the streets is now 425 cars a day. Finally, within the last month since schools have been back in session, the daily average number of parked cars per day has slightly dropped to 410.
One possible reason for the slight drop in the number of parked cars after school resumed may be due to the emergence of the Covid variant keeping employees and/or students with cars from reverting back to full in-person work/school, or this may be somewhat of a new norm. Of course, there could be other factors as well, but the numbers do not appear to be trending significantly downward.
Since April 2021, there have been four additional complaints per Attachment C. All 4 new complaints mentioned enforcement as their main complaint.
In all, staff has received a total of 98 complaints since the initiation of this pilot program. Staff provided clarification or responses to the person making the complaint at the time it was received. 75% of the complaints received to date came Pre-Covid and the rest came in after April 2020. Also, 45% of the complaints were regarding Enforcement Only, 26% of complaints were regarding the Frequency Only, 12% of complaints were regarding both Enforcement and Frequency. The remaining 17% were either general inquiries or request for clarifications. It should be noted that Enforcement was mentioned in 67% of the complaints to date.
Street Sweeping Parking Enforcement
As previously noted, street sweeping enforcement was suspended during the pilot term. Prior to the pilot term, Police Department (PD) had two Parking Control Officers (PCO) assigned to follow the street sweepers and issue citations for parking during street sweeping days. After enforcement was suspended, PD through attrition did not fill both of these positions and they are currrently vacant. In addition, one of the parking control vehicles has reached is useful life and is no longer in service.
If City Council decides to reinstate street sweeping enforcement, PD will need to recruit for new PCO(s) depending on City Council’s final decision regarding the street sweeping program and enforcement. Sweeping once per week will require 2 PCO’s while sweeping twice per month will require 1 PCO. In terms of cost, we found that revenues from citations is slightly higher than the cost so the revenue from citations essentially pays for the cost of enforcement.
Revised Recommendations for City Council Consideration
- Formally terminate the street sweeping pilot program
- Continue street sweeping twice per month with NO enforcement until January 1, 2022 to provide some additional relief to residents working or attending school from home due to Covid
- Resume street sweeping enforcement on January 1, 2022 contingent on filling of a PCO position
Staff feels that these recommendations provide a good balance of not requiring residents to move their cars every week while achieving improved compliance, resulting in cleaner streets and maximum cost savings. In the event that some streets are experiencing unusally high levels of trash and debris, City sweeping staff will handle separately on a case-by-case basis.
The alternative to sweeping twice per month is reverting back to sweeping once per week. This alternative requires 2 street sweepers and 2 PCO’s if enforcement will resume. This will require filling of the vacant Street Sweeping Operator position and filling of PCO positions. This will also require replacement of the one of our 10 year-old street sweeping machines that has been experiencing significant mechanical and maintenance issues and purchase of a new parking control vehicle since one of the 2 parking control vehicles has reached its useful life and is no longer in service.
For this alternative, the recommended implement date is July 1, 2022. The main reason for this date is to allow time for recruitment of said staff for Public Works and PD, allow time for delivery of the replacement street sweeper that is currently on order and procurement of a new parking enforcement vehicle that will also have considerable lead time.
Implementation / Outreach
After City Council selects an option, City staff will prepare and mail out a letter to all residents alerting them of the upcoming change to the street sweeping program as was done to announce the initial pilot program. There will also be other outreach efforts such as website story, Brea Line, and social media. If the change reinstates enforcement, PD will provide a grace period of 1 month starting from the "enforcement date". During the grace period, warnings will be issued to help residents transition back to moving their cars during street sweeping days.
|Sweeping twice per month provides anticipated savings of approximately $129,100 as compared to the Original Budget for weekly street sweeping as shown in Attachment D. FY21-22 budget currently includes cost for street sweeping twice per month. If City Council supports the staff recommendations and enforcement resumes in January 2022, a budget adjustment to this year's operatng budget would need to be made to add back a PCO position.
If City Council desires to revert back to street sweeping once per week effective July 1, 2022, the Original Budget as shown on Attachment D from September 2020 would need to be restored in the FY22-23 operating budget and would also need to include recent salary adjustments. The FY22-23 budget would also need to include funds for the 2 PCO positions that would need to be added back. Finally, a replacement street sweeping machine would need to be added to FY22-23 operational budget at a cost of approximately $325,000. The replacement of the PD parking control vehicle is already in the current approved budget.