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Pico Rivera Putting American Rescue Plan Funds to Work


February 4, 2022

By Brian Hews

The votes are in from the Pico Rivera City Council in regards to the application of nearly $15 million the City received from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan.

The City used a point system and asked each council person to rank projects, the highest achievable score was 20.

Council members were asked to rank projects including renovating the Smith Park Aquatics Center; building a 45,000 sf dog park; street median beautification; purchase Automatic License Plate Readers and PFAS Water Treatment to treat the City’s water.

In a presentation to the City Council by City Manager Steve Carmona at their last meeting, the top project among the councilmembers was repairing the Smith Pool at a cost of $6.5 million.

Aquatic Design Group (ADG) visited the Smith Park Swimming Pool in Pico Rivera in August 2021 to perform a comprehensive assessment on the aging pool and present an estimate of overall costs.

During the visit, ADG evaluated the leaks and documented existing conditions of the swimming pool shell, decks and swimming pool equipment to come up with their estimate.

ADG found eleven items at the pool that do not comply with current code standards, including pool finish, the deck, and the lack of ADA Compliant Access.

Second in line is to install PFAS treatment facilities to remove contaminants from the City’s groundwater, which was budgeted at nearly $4.3 million.

PFAS consists of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate–more commonly referred to as PFOA and PFOS, respectively–are fluorinated organic compounds that are part of larger group of compounds known as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These man-made chemicals are infamous for being both water and lipid-resistant. The problem persists in several cities across Los Angeles County.

The third problem the City Council wants to tackle is to achieve a pavement condition index (PCI) of 67 and maintain, rehabilitate, reconstruct, and improve the City’s street pavement conditions.

PCI is a numerical index between 0 and 100, used to indicate the general condition of a pavement section. The method is based on a visual survey of the number and types of distresses in a pavement; Alligator cracking and the number of potholes is some of the distress types used to calculate the PCI. The overall cost will be $4 million.

Dog owners will love that the City Council approved a 45,000 square foot dog park by utilizing an easement adjacent to 605 FWY, which is subject to negotiation. Estimated cost: $1,500,000.

Next on the list is to install new heating and air conditioning systems in Pico Rivera and Rivera Park gymnasiums and replace the same systems at other City park facilities. Estimated cost: $800,000.

Safety has been made a priority by the City Council and City Manager, so a portion of the funds will be earmarked to purchase Automatic License Plate Readers.

ALPRs capture computer-readable images of license plates and allow law enforcement agencies to compare plate numbers against those of stolen cars or individuals suspected of criminal acts. Estimated cost: $340,000.

Next on the list was to help residents by establishing a job training/workforce development program to help reduce Pico Rivera’s unemployment rate. Estimated cost: $232,000.

Finally, the City will design and construct a patio and walkway at the Senior Center accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Estimated cost: $800,000.

City Manager Steve Carmona told HMG-CN, “The Council’s American Rescue Plan adoption is a reflection of the Council aligning its priorities with our city resident’s priorities that were recently highlighted in our community survey, I am eager to start the projects.”

Pico Rivera Mayor, Dr. Monica Sanchez, told HMG-CN, ” The Pico Rivera City Council wanted to ensure that we prioritize how we expend the allocated American Rescue Plan Act funds based on the greatest need to improve the quality of life for our residents. These areas include investing in building structures for senior citizen programs, parks and recreation, safe water treatment, infrastructure and street repair, public safety and economic development. We believe it’s a great plan and I want to complement city staff and council for a job well done in identifying the most important priorities.  Once completed our residents will benefit for years to come.






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