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Santa Barbara Council OKs Design Funding for Las Positas Roundabout, Library Plaza Remodel

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday approved money for design services for a roundabout as well as improvements at the city's downtown library plaza and services to a homeless shelter.

The council authorized $150,000 for design services for the Las Positas Roundabout Project, which would replace the three-way stop at Cliff Drive and Las Positas with a roundabout to move traffic through the intersection, which sees high traffic volumes during the morning and evening hours.

The council also approved an additional $30,000 in case more changes in the scope of work arise with the firm Kittelson & Associates Inc.

Last fall, the council approved a roundabout design, which will cost about $1.6 million to complete, and Kittelson has been hired to come up with final design plans and cost estimates for the project.

The council approved the item, 6-1, with Councilman Dale Francisco opposing.

The council also unanimously approved final design costs for the Library Plaza Renovation Project, and awarded monies not to exceed $106,750 to landscape architect firm Campbell & Campbell.

The improvements most likely will include removing the plaza's walls to improve visibility and open sightlines as well as improving ADA access to the library on its south entrance facing the city's parking garage.

The Library Plaza project received design approval from the Historic Landmarks Commission on June 18, and the total cost of the project is expected to reach $3.9 million.

Funding for the city's largest homeless shelter was also approved Tuesday.

A contract for $202,100 was approved for Casa Esperanza, a shelter that has been forced to shut down its drop-in day center, close its lunch program and lay off its two top executives due to a shortage of funding.

Tuesday's funding will go to general shelter operations as well Casa's emergency winter shelter beds scheduled for later this year.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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