Downtown Needles, CA: Where should the new Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) operations relocated?
A discussion regarding possible relocation of the new Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) facility was held during the Needles City Council Meeting held on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 in Needles, California.
According to the agenda packet, for the past several years, there’s been discussion with San Bernardino Associated Governments (S.A.N.B.A.G.) staff about relocating the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) operations, which is currently located behind the Lube-n-Latte shop located near the intersection of West Broadway and Market Street in Needles, California, to the northwest corner of the City of Needles’ Public Works Yard located near the intersection of Cibola Street and Robuffa Street, just south of East Broadway, in Needles, California.
This would include construction of a new facility (currently under consideration is a metal structure with exterior aesthetic panels) with applicable fencing to separate Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) and public works.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels recently inquired about the possibility of the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) going into the west end of the El Garœs building to compliment the intermodal transportation center under construction. After meeting with Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) staff and then city staff on site, all felt that the El Garces location is conducive to the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) operations and would benefit the intermodal transportation center as well as the overall Downtown Needles, California area.
Funding for the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) relocation project will come from Prop 1B funds ($82,600+) and $200,000 from STAF (San Bernardino Associated Governments (S.A.N.B.A.G.) allocated funds in this fiscal year). As of this writing, it has not yet been determined if the funding for the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) relocation project can be relocated to the EI Garces building but hoping to have an answer to that soon.
In the meantime, to keep the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) project moving forward this matter is being submitted for Council consideration and conceptual concurrence to place the NAT operations in the El Garoes building subject to all issues being satisfactorily resolved. Should this not work out, we will be proceeding with the new Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) facility at the public works yard.
According to the agenda packet, Fiscal Impact: No fiscal impact for Council conceptual concurrence of the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) operations locating in the El Garces building.
According to the agenda packet, Critical Timeline: Critical as Prop 1B funding is time sensitive and the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) project needs to move forward expeditiously.
According to the agenda packet, Environmental Impact: Not Applicable.
According to the agenda packet, Recommendation: Possible conceptual concurrence to locate the NAT operations in the El Garces building subject to all issues being satisfactorily resolved.
During the discussion, members of the Needles City Council commented in if the Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) facility should be inside or outside the El Garces building (El Garces Intermodal Transportation Center) in Downtown Needles, California so to tie in the transportation facility into the intermodal transportation center which will be the new place for passengers to catch the Amtrak passenger train and hopes to be a stop for tour buses visiting the community.
Needles City Council Member Tom Darcy said, “I thinks it’s a great idea; to tie the whole thing together with the El Garces.”
Needles City Council Member Terry Campbell said, “My only concern… I thinks it’s a good idea. I want to make sure that the concept we have for our bus, buses we project coming in to visit with the intermodal, that we locate this consistent with the turn-a-rounds and concept of the bus tours that may come… in the future into town to visit and we have that big lot right across the street at the Chambers occupies the City building there and maybe another building can be build next to that and the bus parking there… I am in agreements, but I just think we need to really think hard on this on how we pull this all together.”
Needles City Council Member Tony Frazier suggested a location saying, “ A third concept I’m proposing, to think about, is everyone knows where River Street is; River Street is that old street that went across the railroad tracks. We own the land on down that way.”
Needles City Council Member Tony Frazier repeated his suggestion members of the Needles City Council to either place the new building near the Needles Chamber of Commerce or near the intersection of Front Street and H Street just west of the old River Street railroad crossing, next to the railroad tracks, and to the east side of the railroad boxcars in Downtown Needles, California.
Needles City Council Member Jim Lopez said, “The only question, and again i was in City Hall talking to the City Manager about a couple of things on this where there was one proposal where there was an office in the El Garces — I am not for that. I think this building can have its own self contain office inside and bathroom. I don’t know why it needs to be 900 foot squared office — I think that’s rather large. I got 7 offices inside my facility on one side, but — I mean, how many people do we have at one time? I think that can be down sized a little bit, but I think if — I think that’s a great location Tony right there. It doesn’t handcuff us to the El Garces and I think it would add something right there.”
This agenda item was an “Action Agenda Item”, but no vote was taken and the agenda item will be brought back to members of the Needles City Council for a final decision after being put together and researched what was suggested; including the best location for the facility, and asked to be researched by members of the Needles City Council.
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For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345.