Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting.

Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting.

A Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting was held on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 inside the Needles City Council Chambers in Needles, California.

The Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting was broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook.

** Please Note: Needles City Council Members Shawn Gudmundson, Timothy Terral, Clayton Hazlewood, Tona Belt, Zachery Longacre, Needles Vice Mayor Edward T. Paget M.D. and Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams were all present. **

** Here is a summary and the voting results that occurred during the meeting: **

**** Executive Session: ****

– Agenda Item A:

Conference with labor negotiator pursuant to California Government Code §54957.6 – Personnel – Agency Representative City Manager Rick Daniels – Employee Organizations: Needles Unclassified Employees Association (NUEA) and Teamsters Local 1932.

– Agenda Item B:

Conference with legal Counsel regarding potential litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1)(2) and/or (3) related to November 3, 2019 letter from legal counsel to Joseph Ford Brochheuser regarding a dispute over ownership of the Bud Farmacy.

**** Needles City Attorney Report on Executive Session: ****

– Agenda Item A:

Needles City Attorney reports that there was no reportable action taken.

– Agenda Item B:

Needles City Attorney reports that there was no reportable action taken.

**** Public Appearances: ****

**** Presentations: ****

– Agenda Item #1:

California Rifle and Pistol Association 2019 “Fierce About Freedom Award.”

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews, “the Award is from the California Rifle and Pistol Association. Executive Director Rick Travis said that the “CRPA was so inspired by your City’s initiative to ardently protect and defend the Second Amendment within your borders that it inspired the creation of the very Award. The “Fierce About Freedom Award” is presented to any person, community of group which fearlessly defends the freedoms of their fellow man through the constitutionally enumerated right that is the Second Amendment.” This is further recognition of the Council’s efforts to protect the constitutional rights of people lawfully owning and using fire arms in California.”

**** Recess The Needles City Council Meeting And Convene A Joint Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting: ****

**** Presentations: ****

– Agenda Item #2:

Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Presentation by Stephen Noel, R.G., Matrix New World Southwest Groundwater, on the Phase 1 Well Siting Investigation and acceptance of the October 28, 2019 Southwest Groundwater Phase 1 “Well Siting Investigation” Report.

Members of the Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority unanimously voted to approve on the Phase 1 Well Siting Investigation and acceptance of the October 28, 2019 Southwest Groundwater Phase 1 “Well Siting Investigation” Report, and to appoint Needles City Council Members Shawn Gudmundson, Timothy Terral and Tona Belt to an ad hoc committee of the Board of Public Utilities.

**** Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Consent Calendar: ****

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are Considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed. The Mayor or any member of the Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority action, a member of the public may address the Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority on matters Scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A 3 minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve items #3 through #6 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Item #3:

Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Approve the minutes of January 8, January 22, October 8, 2019.

– Agenda Item #4:

Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Authorize the Mayor to execute Amendment No. 2 to Contract No. 06-XX-30-W0452 between the City of Needles, Bureau of Reclamation and Metropolitan Water District dated October 15, 2019, for delivery of Lower Colorado Water Supply Project water.

– Agenda Item #5:

Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Ratify the City Manager’s authorization to utilize wastewater capital funds to complete the Broadway and Wastewater Treatment Plant Manhole Rehabilitation projects at a cost not to exceed $9,940.

– Agenda Item #6:

Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Authorize the use of Electric Asset Replacement funds to complete the Vista Pole Change out program at an estimated cost of $50,000 per alley and a total cost not to exceed $250,000.

Members of the Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority unanimously voted to approve Agenda Items #3 through #6 on the Consent Calendar. Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral abstain only on Agenda item #6 on the Consent Calendar.

**** Needles Public Utility Authority / Needles City Council Regular Items: ****

– Agenda Item #7:

Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority Action:

Award bid to Stantec Consulting Services to complete the 2019-2020 Comprehensive Electric, Water and Wastewater Utility Cost of Service Ratemaking Study at a cost not to exceed $53,750 (electric – $10,334; water – $10,334; and wastewater – $33,082) and appoint members to a Board of Public Utilities established 2019-2020 Ratemaking Ad Hoc Committee.

Members of the Needles City Council / Needles Public Utility Authority unanimously voted to appoint Needles City Council Members Shawn Gudmundson, Timothy Terral and Tona Belt to an ad hoc committee of the Board of Public Utilities to set rates.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews, “Every four-5 years the NPUA reviews its cost to pay the utility’s debt, cover operating costs, and needed capital improvements. The last rate study was implemented in 2014. The NPUA issued a Request for Proposals and selected an accounting firm to conduct the work. Additionally the Utility Board and the City Council appointed liaisons to work with the staff and consultants as the study is undertaken. The Analysis will probably take 6 months then subject to public notice and public hearings before both the Utility Board and the City Council prior to implementation.”

**** Adjourn Needles Public Utility Authority / Needles City Council and Reconvene Needles City Council: ****

**** Public Hearing: ****

– Agenda Item #8:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against adoption of the City of Needles 2013-2021 General Plan Mid-Cycle Update to the 5th Cycle Housing Element.

Resolution No. 2019-75 adopting the 2013-2021 General Plan Mid-Cycle Update to the 5th Cycle Housing Element.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 2019-75 adopting the 2013-2021 General Plan Mid-Cycle Update to the 5th Cycle Housing Element.

– Agenda Item #9:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against amending Section 13- 33(d) of the Needles Municipal Code to erect a stop sign at the northeast corner of North K Street and Front Street (Continued from October 22, 2019).

Ordinance No. 625-AC amending Section 13-33(d) of the Needles Municipal Code to erect a stop sign at the northeast corner of North K Street and Front Street (1st reading – post).

Members of the Needles City Council voted 5-1 to approve amending city code to erect a stop sign at the northeast corner of North K and Front streets at the railroad underpass. Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. voted “No” on this agenda item.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews, “The City Council approved a new stop sign for westbound Front Street to provide protection for southbound underpass traffic trying to access Front Street. This should improve traffic safety according to the traffic engineering study which recommended these improvement.”

**** Needles City Council Consent Calendar: ****

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are Considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed. The Mayor or any member of the Needles City Council may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Needles City Council action, a member of the public may address the Needles City Council on matters Scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A 3 minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve items #10 through #16 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Item #10:

Approve the warrants register through November 12, 2019,

– Agenda Item #11:

Approve the minutes of January 8, January 22, October 8 and October 22, 2019.

– Agenda Item #12:

Declare additional miscellaneous equipment as surplus and authorize staff to advertise for bids and to award the bid to the highest bidder.

– Agenda Item #13:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2019- 76 amending Resolution No. 2017-51 approving a lease extension with Tri-State Alano Club for the building at 801 Third Street.

– Agenda Item #14:

Approve an Administrative Support Clerk Job Description in the City Clerk Department to be 

added to the Authorized Positions List in the 2019-2020-budget.

– Agenda Item #15:

Approve the Agreement with H Street Patient Care for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the building located at 101 W Spikes Road, APN 0650-431-10-0000.

– Agenda Item #16:

Award of contract to Michael P. Burger, MBA, CGMA, CPA to perform Tax Field Audit(s) for two cultivation facilities and one Lessee for a total cost not to exceed $16,000.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Agenda Items #10 through #16 on the Consent Calendar, with Agenda Item #15 pulled off the Consent Calendar for discussion.

After discussion, members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to table Agenda Item #15 to the next Needles City Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 10th, 2019. Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre recuse himself on Agenda item #15.

**** Needles City Council Regular Items: ****

– Agenda Item #17:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution Nos. 2019-71 (amending Resolution No. 2018-55 cultivation Suite A), Resolution No. 2019-72 (amending Resolution No.2018-57 distribution Suite B) and Resolution No. 2019-73 (amending Resolution No. 2018-56 manufacturing Suite C) approving an extension of time for a conditional use permit (CUP) issued for marijuana cultivation, distribution and manufacturing facilities located at 1100 E. Broadway, APN 0186-224-02 that expired on September 25, 2019.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to adopt Resolution Nos. 2019-71 (amending Resolution No. 2018-55 cultivation Suite A), Resolution No. 2019-72 (amending Resolution No.2018-57 distribution Suite B) and Resolution No. 2019-73 (amending Resolution No. 2018-56 manufacturing Suite C) approving an extension of time for a conditional use permit (CUP) issued for marijuana cultivation, distribution and manufacturing facilities located at 1100 E. Broadway, APN 0186-224-02 that expired on September 25, 2019.

– Agenda Item #18:

Policy direction on adding an additional dispensary, prescribing a method for choosing, and the number of cannabis lounges(s) to allow.

Members of the Needles City Council decided to break apart Agenda Item #18 into two separate discussions and action votes.

** Agenda Item #18(A): **

– Policy direction on adding additional cannabis dispensary.

Members of the Needles City Council voted 3-2 to add with lottery to determine successful applicant.

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. and Needles City Council Member Tona Belt both voted “No” on Agenda Item #18(A), and Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre recuse himself on Agenda Item #18(A).

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews, “The City Council on a 3-2 vote instructed the City Attorney to draft revisions to the Marijuana Ordinance which would allow a fifth dispensary within the City if the City Council chose to approve one in the future. With that policy clarity the City Attorney will present the revised ordinance at the Council’s meeting in January. Upon adoption of the ordinance, any party will be allowed to apply for a land use permit to start a 5th dispensary. The Council appointed a three person liaison to work with the City Attorney in this work to advise on the process and approval criteria.”

** Agenda Item #18(B): **

– Prescribe method for choosing and number of cannabis lounges to allow.

Members of the Needles City Council voted 2-4 to allow dispensaries to add lounge if desired.

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. and Needles City Council Member Tona Belt both voted “No” on Agenda Item #18(B).

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews, “A Marijuana Lounge is similar to a tavern of bar at which patrons can consume marijuana, but no liquor is sold. It must be attached to a dispensary to avoid marijuana from unlicensed facilities that has not been tested for strength of content or harmful ingredients from being used. The Council in a 4-2 vote instructed that City Attorney to revise the Marijuana Ordinance to allow such consumption places in affiliation with any existing or proposed dispensaries. The ordinance will follow the same process outlined above with the same Council liaisons.”

– Agenda Item #19:

Gate Way Signage at the Entrances and Exits of the City of Needles.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Gate Way Signage at the Entrances and Exits of the City of Needles.

– Agenda Item #20:

Employee Appreciation Holiday Event budget.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve to set $7,500 budget for an employee appreciation holiday event.

– Agenda Item #21:

Consideration of canceling the Tuesday, November 26 and Thursday, December 26 council meetings due to the holidays.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to cancel the Needles City Council meetings on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 and Thursday, December 26th, 2019 due to the holidays.

**** Needles City Attorney’s Report: ****

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney:

**** Needles City Manager’s Report: ****

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels:

**** Needles City Council Requests: ****

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson:

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral:

Needles City Council Member Clayton Hazlewood:

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D.:

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt:

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre:

Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams:

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.

** Pictures and Live Broadcasts from ZachNews: **

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