Downtown Needles, CA: Needles City Council to vote on lease with Amtrak for station inside El Garces Train Depot on Tuesday.
Members of the Needles City Council will be voting on a resolution approving a lease between the City of Needles and National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) for an approximately 2,500 square foot portion of the El Garces Train Depot during the Needles City Council, Needles Public Utility Authority, and Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency Meeting at 6:00pm PT on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 inside the Needles City Council Chambers located on the 1700 block of J Street near the Needles Recreation Center and Bailey Avenue in Needles, California.
This would bring in a Amtrak station into the El Garces Train Depot located on the 900 block of Front Street near G Street in Downtown Needles, California.
According to the City of Needles, in the Spring of 2014, the City of Needles completed the current phase of renovation/restoration efforts for the El Garces Intermodal Facility. Concurrent with the completion of the work, the City of Needles continued working to secure Amtrak as a tenant of the building.
Discussions to secure Amtrak actually began years prior when the vision to restore the El Garces began. In fact, Amtrak provided input to the City of Needles in regards to some of their needs within the building if a portion were to ultimately serve as a transportation depot serving Amtrak.
In March 2014, the City of Needles and Amtrak compiled a “Term Sheet” which became the basis for a draft lease that was furnished to Amtrak in June, 2014. Unfortunately, it did take Amtrak the past year for it to complete its legal review of the document. They provided the City of Needles an executed (signed) lease on Monday, August 17th, 2015. This lease is now before the Needles City Council for consideration.
– Lease Provisions:
The document calls for the City of Needles to lease approximately 2,500 square feet of the El Garces Building to Amtrak. The lease is for a period of five (5) years. Amtrak has the option to extend the lease for an additional five (5) years. Amtrak will pay the City of Needles a total of $2,500 per year.
The City of Needles will be installing an automated lock system on the Train Depot portion of the El Garces building so that it will unlock at 11:00pm PT and automatically lock at 3:00am PT. This is to accommodate the late night train schedule that Amtrak offers through Needles.
The City of Needles will be responsible for the maintenance of the building and janitorial services (Outlined in the lease Exhibit C in Agenda Item #18 packet).
The residents of Needles and surrounding areas receive significant benefit of having an Amtrak depot in service. Users will have a climate controlled facility for which to arrive or depart within, as well as availability of shelter and restrooms.
– Fiscal Impact:
The City of Needles shall receive $2,500 per year in consideration of the lease and help offset a portion of the expenses of building upkeep and maintenance. The City of Needles does have funding available from the FTA grant. It is estimated that a magnetic locking system for the two (2) sets of doors (platform entrance and main entrance) will be under $5,000.
Staff recommends approval of the attached Lease Agreement.
The approving of the resolution authorizes the City of Needles Mayor to execute said agreement on behalf of the City of Needles.
** Agenda Item #18**
Currently, passengers wait for their Amtrak trains just east of the El Garces Train Depot under an outdoor covered table area next to offices used by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Buildings located on the 800 block of Front Street near F Street in Downtown Needles, California.
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.