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

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

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

Needles, California: The Needles City Council held a meeting inside the Needles City Council Chambers on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021.

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

*** Important Notice: ***

Dale Jones, City Clerk with the City of Needles, tells ZachNews that she forgot to remove Needles Public Utility Authority from the that agenda before sending them out to everybody, and wanted to make sure that there wasn’t any Needles Public Utility Authority items on that night’s agenda.

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.

The public were able to attended tonight’s meeting of the Needles City Council via Microsoft Teams.

Needles City Council Members Ellen A. Campbell, Timothy Terral, Kirsten Merritt, Tona Belt and Zachery Longacre as well as Needles City Vice Mayor Edward T. Paget M.D. and Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams were all present inside the chamber.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels as well as Needles City Clerk Dale Jones were also present inside the chamber well Needles City Attorney John Pinkney from Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney L.L.P. was present via Microsoft Teams which can be viewed on the new television behind the members of the Needles City Council.

** 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 matter).

– Agenda Item B:

Conference with Labor Negotiators pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6: Agency designated representative: City Manager Rick Daniels; Employee Organizations: NUEA and Teamsters Local 1932.

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

– Agenda Item A:

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney said there was reportable action. Needles City Attorney John Pinkney reported that initiate code enforcement litigation against the operators of an unlicensed cannabis business at 411 B Street. According to Needles City Attorney John Pinkney, the vote was an unanimously voted by members of the Needles City Council.

– Agenda Item B:

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney said there was no reportable action.

*** Approval of the Agenda: ***

cc-0-022321-agenda with link

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve the agenda.

*** Correspondence: ***

Needles City Clerk Dale Jones reports she received correspondences all related to Agenda Item #9; letter from the Needles Chamber of Commerce with summary of their proposal that was submitted, letter from the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center with summary of their proposal that was submitted, seven letters of support for the Needles Chamber of Commerce operating the Needles Visitor Center, and a letter from a member of both the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center voicing her opinion that the City of Needles can possibly create a master plan for space rental and encouraging the two groups should work together as one.

*** Public Appearance: ***

Resident Jared Johnson spoke during Public Appearance about graffiti that was tagged on the side of the Needles Regional Senior Center, and thanked whoever came out and cover up the graffiti.

*** Public Hearing: ***

– Agenda Item #1:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against approval of an amendment of City Code Section 104.17.1 Legal Non-Conforming Signs allowing Non-Commercial Messages.

This agenda item has been continued to March 23, 2021.

– Agenda Item #2:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against approval of a Conditional Use Permit for a 2,500 sq. ft. Retail Cannabis Business located at 1804 Needles Highway in the C-2 (General Commercial) Zone, APN 0185-045-03.

This agenda item has been removed from the agenda by the applicant Mathew Kaplan.

– Agenda Item #3:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against adopting the California Building Standards Code 2019 Editions.

Ordinance No. 635-AC adopting the California Building Standards Code 2019 Editions, rescinding Ordinance No. 575-AC which adopted the International Code Council 2012 Edition, and amending Municipal Code Article IV “Uniform Administrative Code” and Section 2-10 “Adopted by Reference Where Filed” (1st reading – post).

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-3-022321-building code

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Ordinance No. 635-AC adopting the California Building Standards Code 2019 Editions, rescinding Ordinance No. 575-AC which adopted the International Code Council 2012 Edition, and amending Municipal Code Article IV “Uniform Administrative Code” and Section 2-10 “Adopted by Reference Where Filed” (1st reading – post).

– Agenda Item #4:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against establishing a new fee structure at the Rivers Edge Golf Course.

Resolution No. 2021-11 rescinding Resolution No. 2018-40 and establishing a new fee structure for the Rivers Edge Golf Course.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-4-022321-golf fees

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 2021-11 rescinding Resolution No. 2018-40 and establishing a new fee structure for the Rivers Edge Golf Course.

– Agenda Item #5:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against Jack Smith Park Boat Launch pass increase from $17 to $18.

Resolution No. 2021-13 approving a fee increase to the Jack Smith Park Day Use Launch Pass from $17 to $18 effective March 6, 2021.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-5-022321-JSP launch fee

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 2021-13 approving a fee increase to the Jack Smith Park Day Use Launch Pass from $17 to $18 effective March 6, 2021.

*** 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 #6 through #8 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Item #6:

Approve the warrants register through February 23, 2021.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-6-022321-warrants

– Agenda Item #7:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2021-12 approving the Filter Change Economic Development Program Application for the business located at 1714 W. Broadway, APN 0185- 062-24-0000 in the amount of $10,000 from the Economic Development Grant Fund account.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-7-022321-1714 broadway econ dev grant

– Agenda Item #8:

Ordinance No. 634-AC approving an amendment to the Needles Municipal Code amending Section 96.08 “Accessory Dwelling Unit” and Section 96.00 “Table of Permissible Uses” (2nd reading – adopt).

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-8-022321-ord 634 ADU

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Agenda Items #6 and #8, and pulled Agenda Item #7 for comment on the Consent Calendar.

– Regarding Agenda Item #7:

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. commented on the name of the business, not reflecting what the business is selling there, and would want to see something mention of food or drink be part of the name.

According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles, on March 12, 2019 the City Council approved Resolution No. 2019 8 which established an Economic Development Program that is designed to assist new and existing non-cannabis businesses with costs associated with infrastructure improvements, fees, and startup costs that encourage improvements and investment in commercial properties within the City of Needles.

Greg Yeager the owner of the Filter Change has applied for the Economic Development Program. Mr. Yeager has renovated the existing coffee shop and oil shop to bring the business back to life and will provide customers with oil changes and expressos.

Greg Yeager has completed to date $39,913.36 in improvements to the business formerly known as Lube and Latte. Mr. Yeager has submitted an Economic Development Program Application in the amount of $10,000. The funds were used towards renovating the coffee and oil shop by replacing the existing tile, fix and replace drywall, build a new counter and cabinets and added new countertops. Mr. Yeager will add four new fulltime jobs to the local economy.

The applicant meets the requirements to be eligible for the Economic Development Program Grant Funds due to the fact:

  1. The applicant is operating a new separate non-cannabis business with a physical location in the City.
  2. The applicant is providing a private investment that is at least twice the amount of the requested grant.
  3. The proposed new or expanded business must create two new sustainable full-time positions.

According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles, the Fiscal Impact is the Economic Development Grant Fund request of $10,000 to be paid for by Marijuana Tax revenues. The fund currently has as of January 1, 2021 (FY21) the Economic Fund has a balance of $15,704.96
Syliva Miledi om 2/18/21

According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles, the Recommendation is to approve Resolution No. 2021-12 Approving the Filter Change Economic Development Program Application for the business located at 1714 W. Broadway, Also known as 0185-062-24-0000.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Agenda Item #7 on the Consent Calendar.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt wanted to point out to everybody that this is part of the Economic Development Fund for those out there who are non-marijuana businesses, we encourage you to come to our town, and we as a City help set off some of the cost with this fund.

***** For more information regarding the City of Needles Economic Development Fund, please contact the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 (Ask to speak to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels or City of Needles Director of Development Patrick Martinez). *****

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

– Agenda Item #9:

Select the preferred vendor for the establishment and management services for the Needles Visitor Center and authorize staff to negotiate a services agreement for Council consideration.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-9-022321-visitor ctr staff report

cc-9a-022321-Chambers proposal

cc-9b-022321-Torism & Visitor Ctr proposal

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously approved to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to create a contract for the establishment and management services for the Needles Visitor Center, and return to Needles City Council within 30 days.

*** Read More: Needles City Council unanimously voted to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to create contract for Needles Visitor Center: ***

https://zachnews.net/2021/02/24/news-update-needles-ca-needles-city-council-unanimously-voted-to-meet-with-the-needles-chamber-of-commerce-and-the-needles-tourism-and-visitor-center-to-create-contract-for-needles-visitor-center/

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

– Needles City Attorney John Pinkney:

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney had no report.

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

– Needles City Manager Rick Daniels:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels showed a billboard that was in bad condition next to the Westside Circle K Chevron Gas Station off Needles Highway that was removed Tuesday afternoon. City of Needles Director of Development Patrick Martinez showed a picture of the billboard, that was discovered the City of Needles owned the billboard. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels joked that we didn’t cited ourselves, we responded to the first notice of violation. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that the poles are still there, and that we are working on the poles.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then passed out a letter and spoke about Senator Shannon Grove, California State Senator for District 16, requested that we as the City of Needles join in other communities in support of her effort to cause the Employment Development Department to stop sending unemployment checks to prisoners, that there is a fraud investigation underway; she want the State legislator to prove direction that this should stop.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then spoke about State wavers that the City of able to secure regarding the food waste recycling (Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral to speak more on that in his request), and had the opportuning to apply for a food waste grant, to do a small scale composts operation. The City of Needles applied but the State said we were disqualified because our solid waste goes to an out of state landfill. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that we as the City comply with all the other rules and regulations of the State of California, and I filed an appeal of that disqualification.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then spoke about the Needles Skate Park, and the problems that have been happening there, including fights, bullying, misbehaving and vandalism including graffiti on the skating area.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels discussed improvements to the cameras there at the Needles Skate Park and painting over the offensive graffiti that has been tagged there in the bowl.

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre spoke during the Needles Skate Park discussing about reaching out to local area hardware store for donation to paint the whole skate park.

Needles City Council Member Ellen A. Campbell also spoke during the Needles Skate Park discussion about posting a new sign that states what is allowed in the Needles Skate Park and what is the safe requirements needed for using the Needles Skate Park.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels told everybody that more details on what needing to be done to the Needles Skate Park will be discussed at the upcoming Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Meeting at 4:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, February 25th, 2021.

The meeting will be held at the Needles Skate Park, and more details about the Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Meeting will be posted soon on ZachNews.

The Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Meeting at the Needles Skate Park will be broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook starting at 4:00 p.m. PT.

*** Needles City Council Requests: ***

– Needles City Council Member Ellen A. Campbell:

Needles City Council Member Ellen A. Campbell spoke thanking the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center for their presentations, and spoke about putting on a future agenda about the Needles Lagoon. Senator Shannon Grove, California State Senator for District 16, wanting us to joint venture with the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe in this; wanting to put a park down at the old lagoon.

The restoring of the Needles Lagoon got a big kick moving forward following a meeting with Senator Shannon Grove and City of Needles representatives back on Saturday, April 6th, 2019 which ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez interviewed Senator Shannon Grove about the Needles Lagoon.

– Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral:

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral spoke about the Solid Waste Advisory Task-Force, discussing about the exemptions organic waste is called the “Needles Exemption”, that is what it was told to me when I found out about this during the meeting. Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral said that this is the third exemption Needles, California has from State of California regulations, adding that as of now we are smog exempt once you purchase your vehicle, we don’t have to put solar on top of new construction, and we’re not required to organic waste recycling at this point. In regards to the organic waste recycle, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that the organic waste recycle would have cost every restaurants $70.00 per-month of additional waste funds, fortunately CalRecycle accepted that so thank you.

Needles City Council Member Timothy Terral then thanked the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center for their presentations, and their understanding to be able to work together on this so we can get our visitor center together.

– Needles City Council Member Kirsten Merritt:

Needles City Council Member Kirsten Merritt spoke thanked the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center for their proposals, and looking forwards for the groups to go in there.

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

Needles Vice City Edward T. Paget M.D. spoke about the fountain at the El Garces Train Depot, saying that there is no water in the fountain, and want that issue be brought onto the agenda to see if there’s anyway to get the water back in the fountain and enjoy this historic landmark.

– Needles City Council Member Tona Belt:

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt spoke about cleaning up the area around the fountain at the El Garces Train Depot.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt about getting on the agenda getting a letter to Phil LeJeune in support of San Bernardino County District Supervisor Cook so we can attempted to get him as our representative for our area.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt then thanked the San Bernardino County Fire Station for their quick response; we had a carbon dioxide alarm go off at our house and they were there lickity-split; they helped us get us reorganized.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt then spoke about the Needles Lagoon, wanting to set a lagoon goal setting meeting. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that we’re looking for a Saturday morning, if somebody on the Needles City Council has some Saturday next month, and to let him know if you can’t make the meeting, and we’ll do it at the El Garces Train Depot.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt then spoke about the Flip Mendez Youth Fund Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 1st, 2021, and letting everybody know that they’re looking for sponsors.

ZachNews will have more information regarding Flip Mendez Youth Fund Golf Tournament after the Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Meeting on Thursday.

– Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre:

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre had no requests, but said that a couple of things in regards to the two groups (the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center) and our new Needles Visitors Center. Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre said that he received a flood of emails and letters – more then on any subject as a Needles City Council member – and one line out of all the letters I like to read, “There’s plenty of work to be done, and projects to complete; room for everyone to find a pet project to work on.” Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre said that should ring true right now, we need this done.

Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre then spoke about coming into town the other day and noticing the trees that were trimmed along the off-ramp from Interstate 40, saying that we have 25 foot tall trees with no branches; I hope this is not what Caltrans had in mind when they were cleaning and making our off-ramps look better because it looks like crap.

– Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams:

Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams had no requests.

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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