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

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: Dale Jone, City Clerk with the City of Needles (Information):

Needles, California: The Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority held a meeting inside the Needles City Council Chambers on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020.

ZachNews broadcast live on Facebook the meeting.

Well the City of Needles released the agenda as “Regular Meeting of the Needles City Council, Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting,” no items was found on the agenda or mentioned during the meeting being both Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority.

The Needles City Council is continuing to hold meetings pursuant to the provisions of the Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20 which suspends certain requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

As a result of the Executive Order to stay at home, in person participation at the City Council meetings is not allowed at this time and the Council Chambers are not open to the public.

Needles City Council Members Shawn Gudmundson, Timothy Terral, Tona Belt and Needles Vice Mayor Edward T. Paget M.D. were all present inside the chamber well Zachery Longacre and Louise Evans were present via teleconference. Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams was giving an excused absence.

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

**** Executive Session: ****

Agenda Item A:

Conference with Legal Counsel regarding potential initiation of litigation pursuant to Government
Code Section 54956.9(d)(4) (one potential case)

Agenda Item B:

Public Employee Performance Evaluation pursuant to Government Code Section 54957 –
Employee Title: City Manager

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

Agenda Item A:

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

Agenda Item B:

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

**** Public Appearances: ****

**** 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 #1 through #9 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Item #1:

Approve the warrants register through June 23, 2020

– Agenda Item #2:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2020-36 approving a Twelfth Amendment to and Extension of the License between the City of Needles and Bonnie Baker Senior Center for use of the kitchen and a portion of the dining area in the Needles Senior Citizens Center during the 2020-2021 fiscal year

– Agenda Item #3:

Approve the budget revisions for the 2019-2020 fiscal year for the Needles Area Transit to include $43,951 in FTA CARES Act Section 5311 revenues and a reduction of the same amount in State Transit Assistance (STA) operations revenues; carry-over the $43,951 into the 2020-2021 fiscal year in STA operations revenues already received by the city

– Agenda Item #4:

Approve a budget revision for the 2020-2021 fiscal year for the Needles Area Transit to carry-over $43,951 in STA operations revenues already received by the city

– Agenda Item #5:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2020-37 authorizing the City to file an application for, and receipt of, Local Government Planning Support Grant Program Funds, Local Early Action Planning Grants (LEAP)

– Agenda Item #6:

Accept the work completed by Jonovich Companies for the installation of the new fiberglass K Street Lift Station located at 417 North K Street and authorize staff to record Notice of Completion with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office

– Agenda Item #7:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2020-38 Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Agreement for Collection of Special Taxes, Fees, and Assessments Fiscal Year 2020-2021

– Agenda Item #8:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2020-39 approving a funding request for nine (9) capital improvement projects totaling $50 million of investment into the City of Needles roads and sidewalks, wastewater and drinking water systems, parks and recreation, and electrical distribution system from Phase 4 of the Corona Virus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

– Agenda Item #9:

Waive the reading and adopt Ordinance No. 630-AC, as amended, rescinding Ordinance No. 563-AC amending Chapter 9 “Fire Protection” of the Needles Municipal Code and adopting the San Bernardino County Fire Ordinance FPD 20-01 referencing the 2019 Edition of the California Fire Code along with certain changes, modifications, amendments, additions, deletions, and exceptions relating to fire regulations and authorize the Mayor to sign a transmittal letter
(2nd Reading – Adopt/Publish)

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Agenda Items #1 through #9 on the Consent Calendar.

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

– Agenda Item #10:

Waive the reading and order posted Ordinance No. 631-AC amending, in part, Chapter 2, Article VIII of the Needles Municipal Code expanding smoking prohibitions within the City to include playground areas and prohibiting the use of electronic smoking devices within City owned facilities (1st Reading – Post).

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to table discussion and action on an ordinance until the next Needles City Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 meeting.

– Agenda Item #11:

Emergency Declaration Status Updates.

– First Declaration of Emergency regarding Water Line Eruption on Bridge connecting Lillyhill Drive and D Street near Interstate 40:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke about to repair the water line that erupted early this year along Lilyhill Drive Bridge just south of D Street and near Interstate 40; saying that an electric control device that tells the water well to keep pumping, there was some delay getting that part, but we have the part now and will be install in the next day or so.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that we’re gonna X-ray the pipes that’s connecting the replacement water pipe so to make sure that they are stabled enough to connect to that area. We have to wrap the water pipe in protection so to keep from corroding, and than we will close it up.

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral asked Needles City Manager Rick Daniels how long will the roadway be close for this replacement of the water pipe?

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said a day, two days maximum.

No exact time or date was mention during the meeting, but City of Needles said they will make that public when set.

– Second Declaration of Emergency regarding COVID-19:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels began saying at the direction of the Needles City Council, weren’t not the enforcement of COVID-19 issues.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels that continued, speaking about the openings from the COVID-19 closures announced by the California governor, saying that the City of Needles have notified all of the businesses that covered by that, such as the hotels, gyms and restaurants, and informed them of the grant available from the County of San Bernardino to cover the additional costs, including masks, gloves and cleaning supplies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that we have received notice that day camps and aquatic centers (public pools) are allowed to be open. Plans have been worked on for the Needles Aquatic Center to reopen.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said the summer day camp at the Needles Aquatic Center as well as the pool at the Needles Aquatic Center will open starting next week.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that we submitted to FEMA $22,000 cost to the City of Needles for supplies and time in dealing with COVID-19 emergency. FEMA has notified the City of Needles that they will funding $16,000 of that cost; reimbursement money to the City of Needles.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that we have no COVID-19 in the City of Needles government, and that employees have been maintaining wearing their masks and obeying social distancing, both at work and after work hours, including people who are working from home.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels didn’t mention publicly during the meeting the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of Needles, California residents.

** Please note; prior to the Needles City Council Meeting on Tuesday, the number count of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Needles, California was 4, but as of Friday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now at 5. According to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the number of confirmed cases in Needles, California don’t count the two cases back in early May 2020 who the City of Needles said were visitors from Los Angeles, California; they would be counted as residence of Los Angeles, California, not residence of Needles, California. The number stated for Needles, California by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health is of residence. **

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

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney:

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

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke about doing a video interview for Tri-State Community Healthcare Center, speaking about COVID-19 and testing that was done.

The video interview was done for Tri-State Community Healthcare Center thanks to Zachary Lopez of ZachNews inside the the Needles Administration Offices.

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

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson:

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson spoke about next round of Safe Routes To School Block Grants, can we see if we can get new sidewalk at the end of Coronado Street and Erin Drive.

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson next spoke about new power poles that have been installed in The Vista residential neighborhood area, and asked about the old poles that are still there; will they be removed or are we going to have two pole lines.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels told Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson that the electric lines have been already been moved over onto the new poles, but it’s coordinating with the other communication lines to be moved them over than the old poles will be removed.

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral:

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral spoke about the new grocery store expansion coming soon inside the Westside Circle K Chevron store and gas station, saying, “Talked with Scott, the owner of Circle K, and he’s been working for the last couple of months to put in a grocery store inside his Circle K store. He’s putting in 24 feet of shelves; 40 shelves in all; a double door freezer; and will be selling frozen meat and vegetables as well as fresh vegetables and everything else.”

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral then mention speaking to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels about the suggestion to move the nearby bus stop in front of the Best Western Hotel to the front of the Westside Circle K Chevron store and gas station so to better serve bus riders to the new grocery store.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt:

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt spoke about wanting to meet with Caltrans, and wanting to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce regarding what’s going on with the Visitor’s Center; is there any updates on that.

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre:

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre spoke via telephonically, thanking City of Needles staff for painting the parking lot along the river beaches; beautiful and let’s hopefully all that works pan out for us during Independence Day 2020 weekend. Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre requires that the trees along that river roadway be trimmed as soon as possible.

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre spoke about some complaints he received from locals that the City of Needles is doing all this work for the tourism, we can’t use the beach. Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre mention his trip to San Clemente and him being an advocate for free use of the river, and said we provide that from the weight in tourism as we’ve seen as of lately. Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre spoke about San Clemente’s local parking lot that had numbers and a place to pay for a parking space for how many hours; if locals aren’t going to be allow to use our beaches, than maybe we should be taxing the tourist for it. Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre requires that City of Needles staff look into these pay parking box devices for parking lots; other cities like Bullhead City, Arizona and Parker, Arizona are making money by charging for parking. Locals aren’t using these beaches when tourist are swamping them, why not make that extra revenue; open up a new tax bracket for river recreational, this money can go towards new sidewalks faster, plant new trees for shade areas at the park and put more money into park and recreation in general.

Needles City Council Member Louise Evans:

Needles City Council Member Louise Evans had no Needles City Council Requests.

Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams:

Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams was not present, and was given an excused absence.

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

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. closed the meeting in memory of former Needles City Council Member Tom Darcy, who passed away earlier this month.

No further information was provided regarding Tom Darcy’s passing or if any memorial service will be held to remember him.

ZachNews and the community of Needles, California send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to Tom Darcy’s family and friends as they as mourn his passing.

**** Important Note: ****

Mayor and Needles City Council Members may be able to attend future meetings via telephonically by calling: 1 (866) 576-7975 and putting in Participant Access number that is provided for that scheduled meeting, such as #853544.

The public may also attend via telephonically by calling the phone number above, or can submit any comments in writing prior to the meeting by emailing: djones@cityofneedles.com

Please make sure to save that phone number and email so the public can participate in the upcoming meetings.

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 145 or Press #2.

***

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