Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: Cheryl K. Sallis with the City of Needles (Information):

Needles, California: The Needles Board of Public Utilities held a meeting inside the Needles City Council Chambers on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

The Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting was broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook.

The City of Needles wants to remain the public that the Needles Board of Public Utilities 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 California’s Executive Order to “Stay-At-Home”, the City of Needles said that in person participation at the Needles Board of Public Utilities meetings is not allowed at this time and the Needles City Council Chambers are not open to the public.

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

*** Executive Session: ***

– Agenda Item:

Conference with Legal Counsel regarding Potential Litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2) and/or (3) (one potential case).

*** Report on Executive Session: ***

– Agenda Item:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels reported there was no reportable action.

*** Approval of the Agenda: ***

ub_030221 agenda

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to approval the agenda.

*** Public Appearance: ***

Nobody from the public to wanted to speak during Public Appearance.

*** 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 Chairman or any Member of the Board may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Board action, a member of the public may address the Board on matters scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A three-minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve Items #1 through #4 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative vote.

– Agenda Item #1:

Approval of minutes of the adjourned regular meeting held January 19, 2021; minutes of the special meeting held February 2, 2021; and minutes of the regular meeting held February 2, 2021.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-1 minutes 011921, 020221 spec, 020221 reg

– Agenda Item #2:

Resolution No. 3-2-21 BPU rescinding Resolution No. 12-1-20-3 BPU and authorizing the city manager to purchase additional transformers, ancillary parts and equipment for commercial projects for which a deposit has been paid.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-2 resol re transformer purchases

– Agenda Item #3:

Accept the quote from WZI Inc. to complete the greenhouse gas (GHG) third party verification services for fiscal years 2021 through 2024 at a total cost not to exceed $23,500.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-3 GHG verification services

– Agenda Item #4:

Authorize Chairman Campbell to execute a Covid-19 assistance request letter for past due utility accounts.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-4 auth chair to sign Covid-19 ltr

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to approve Agenda Items #1, #3 and #4, and pull Agenda Item #2 for clarification on the Consent Calendar.

After providing statement for Member John McNeill, members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to approve Agenda Item #2 on the Consent Calendar.

*** Regular Items: ***

– Agenda Item #5:

Status of the water and wastewater immediate availability charges review (“standby charge” – from meeting of Dec. 1, 2020).

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-5 standby charge for water & sewer

This agenda item is Discretionary; members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities didn’t have to vote on this agenda item.

*** Reports (Information Only Agenda Items): ***

– Agenda Item #6:

EUSI, LLC operational and support services relating to the wastewater treatment facility and collection system January 2021.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-6 EUSI report Jan ’21

– Agenda Item #7:

California Energy Commission’s Resolution No. 21-0210-4 approving $10-109(k) determination that the solar photovoltaic requirement in the 2019 building energy efficiency standards $150.1(c)14 shall not apply to City of Needles.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-7 CEC solar waiver

– Agenda Item #8:

Monthly activity report for December 2020.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-8 monthly activity report Dec ’20

– Agenda Item #9:

Needles present perfected rights (PPR) report January 2021.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

ub_030221-9 PPR report Jan ’21

*** Pending Matters (Not For Discussion At This Time): ***

There was no pending matters.

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

– Agenda Item #A:

Incident Report(s):

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that he had no incidents to report.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then spoke about opening the bids for the water line and pavement replacement that’s going to be going on; it’s about $1.6 million of paving $400 thousand in water line replacement. That will go to Needles City Council next Tuesday, and we will hope to start those projects in probably third or forth week in March 2021 starting with the north Needles Highway – bad section of road – but it’s K Street, L Street, Washington Street, Bailey Avenue and Erin Drive. These numbers came it as slightly lower than what we expected so we had some fairly good estimates this time; we weren’t surprised. We are preparing for the next allocation; next money, the next bid process because of in particular the cannabis revenue is coming in above projection; we’ve budgeted $2 million for the annual revenue, and we’ve achieved that to the tune of 105 percent of full year revenue by December 31st, and we have now – as of last Friday – we would receive the February payments, and we’re going to be way ahead of schedule. So we’re preparing for the next projects.

*** Needles Board of Public Utilities Requests: ***

Needles Board of Public Utilities Member Phil asked about cyber security, especially on the grid. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then spoke about City of Kingman and their cyber hack attack that took place recently, saying that somebody is holding all of their data for ransom, bad that the FBI and every law enforcement agencies in the country is trying to track this attacker well trying to recover the data without paying a ransom. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that it caused him to talk to our I.T. person to go through our system with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that our server is not directly connected to the internet, that it goes through multiple layers of security checks, but Rainie is working on newly required by the State of California that all of our utilities be secured not only the physical plant security but also the digital security.

Needles Board of Public Utilities Chair Member Campbell spoke about two items:

1: electric utilities in purchasing energy fund that is used to regulate our second tier energy pricing, I would like to see us consider raising that to keep the $400 thousand dollars bucket but let’s raise the bucket up to plus $400 thousand to 0, stay out of minus territory even nor we’re well funded there right now but with the political environment and the people running the federal government right now I have no confidence that we will not see drastic increases in energy prices.

2: water meters for the lower Colorado River water supply project consideration, I just wanted to mention to City staff that any consideration in putting water meters retroactively on current holders of those contracts, we need to come up with a finding to determent if that’s necessary; and to also look at the Boulder Canyon Project on their water accounting office; they have a formula for how much a family of two on a water well uses in a year and by monthly, depends on extreme weather changes in the desert here, and we might want to consider adopting that because when we report that water use we might have excess capacity to sell for future growth and wealth because we’re getting a more accurate account of the water uses. It’s something we need to think about in the future because as the aquifer goes down on the All-American Canal project, water is going to get tight and you know the big water users in southern California are going to be looking for places to get more water.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke about a news article about the San Diego County Water District got a judgment for $46 million dollars against Metropolitan Water District for overcharging for the wheeling of Colorado River that’s going in, and now the San Diego Water Authority is looking at building a canal to directly connect to the Colorado River so there’s going to be more attempts with bigger and bigger straws into our water supply.

For more information regarding the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meetings, please contact Cheryl K. Sallis at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113.

***

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