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

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: City of Needles (Information and Agenda Packet):

Needles, California: A regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority was held on Tuesday, September 28th, 2021 inside the Needles City Council Chambers.

 

Live Broadcasts By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

The executive session as well as the regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority were broadcasted live at ZachNews on Facebook.

******* Summary – Needles City Council Meeting: *******

***** Roll Call: *****

Which members of the Needles City Council are present either inside the Needles City Council Chamber or via teleconference, or which members of the Needles City Council isn’t present either inside the Needles City Council Chamber or via teleconference and may need an excuse absence.

  • Needles City Council Ellen A. Campbell:

Present – Chamber

  • Needles City Council Donald Wade Evans II:

Present – Chamber

  • Needles City Council Kirsten Merritt:

Present – Chamber

  • Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams:

Present – Chamber

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

Present – Chamber

  • Needles City Council Tona Belt:

Present – Chamber

  • Needles City Council Zachery Longacre:

Present – Chamber

 

***** Executive Session: *****

  • Agenda Item A:
  • NPUA /COUNCIL:

Conference with Legal Counsel regarding existing litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1) (one case: Rio Buena Vista Assoc. Et. Al. v. City of Needles: Case Number CIVSB 2028439);

  • Agenda Item B:
  • COUNCIL:

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

  • Agenda Item C:
  • COUNCIL:

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

  • Agenda Item D:
  • COUNCIL:

Conference with Labor Negotiator pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6: Agency designated representative: City Manager Rick Daniels: Unrepresented Employee: Assistant City Manager/Development Services Director.

 

***** Executive Session – Report by City Attorney: *****

The Needles City Attorney reports out of Executive Session any actions such as motions and votes if any were taken from the agenda items that were listed under Executive Session.

  • Agenda Item A:
  • NPUA /COUNCIL:
  • Reportable Action?: No

 

  • Agenda Item B:
  • COUNCIL:
  • Reportable Action?: No

 

  • Agenda Item C:
  • COUNCIL:
  • Reportable Action?: No

 

  • Agenda Item D:
  • COUNCIL:
  • Reportable Action?: No

 

***** Approval of the Agenda: *****

Members of the Needles City Council get to vote on if they approve of tonight’s agenda and if they’re any changes to the agenda that need to be made.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-00-092821 regccnpuaag

  • Motion:

Approve Agenda.

  • Voting Results: Approved: Unanimously

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: Yes

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: N/A

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Yes

Member Belt: Yes

Member Longacre: Yes

 

***** Public Appearance: *****

Persons wishing to address the Needles City Council on subjects other than those scheduled are requested to do so at this time. When called by the Mayor, please announce your name and address for the record. In order to conduct a timely meeting, a three-minute time limit per person has been established by Municipal Code Section 2-18. Amendments to the California Government Code Section 54950 prohibits the Needles City Council from taking action on a specific item until it appears on the agenda.

  • Public Appearance Speaker:

Judy Thornton from the Friend of the El Garces

  • Topics:

Spoke about her being the new president of the Friend of the El Garces.

Spoke about two projects they’re working on, the fountain and the brick area at the El Garces; still have a market for the bricks.

Spoke about El Garces Visitor’s Center, where we sell Route 66 Passports inside.

Spoke about having 39 events inside the El Garces from January 2021 to the end of September 2021.

Spoke about a few upcoming events.

  • Public Appearance Speaker:

Pam Blake from the Needles Chamber of Commerce

  • Topics:

Spoke about updates regarding construction of the new Visitor’s Center inside the El Garces.

 

***** Presentations: *****

  • Agenda Item 1:

Fire District Update by Scott Tuttle, Assistant Chief, San Bernardino County Fire District.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

N/A

  • Motion:

(Information Only)

More information about Agenda Item 1 has been posted at the following ZachNews website at:

https://zachnews.net/2021/10/06/needles-ca-san-bernardino-county-fire-protection-district-provides-a-presentation-on-local-and-countywide-incidents-and-firework-related-incidents/

  • Voting Results:

(Information Only)

 

***** Public Hearings: *****

  • Agenda Item 2:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against approving Tentative Parcel Map No. 20388, subdividing 6.5 acres +/- into 2 parcels located in the R2 (Two-Family Residential) Zone, located in the vicinity of Lillyhill Dr. and Casa Linda St, APN 0185-233-55: ➢ Staff Report ➢ Council Questions of Staff ➢ Mayor to open the public hearing ➢ Public Comment ♦ Applicant Comments ♦ Comments in Favor ♦ Comments Opposed ♦ Applicant Rebuttal ➢ Mayor to close the public hearing ➢ Council Discussion / Deliberation ➢ Resolution No. 2021-41 approving Tentative Parcel Map 20388 subdividing 6.5 acres +/-into 2 parcels located in the R-2 (Two-Family Residential) Zone, APN 0185-233-55.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-02-092821-TPM 20388

  • Motion:

Approve, with the modifications of unobstructed easement 25 feet long and to add the first write a refusal.

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney said it’s a resolution, the motion fails.

  • Voting Results: Motion Fails: 3-1

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: Yes

Member Merritt: No

Mayor Williams: N/A (Conflict of Interest – Out of Caution: Recused self because I may live within 600 feet of this property)

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: N/A (Seating in place of the mayor, only votes if there’s a tie vote)

Member Belt: N/A (Conflict of Interest: Recused self because I live within 600 feet of this property)

Member Longacre: Yes

 

  • Agenda Item 3:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against a Conditional Use Permit for a two-phase cannabis cultivation facility, phase one existing building, 4,700 square feet, and phase two, a new 10,800 sq. ft. building, at 1150 W. Broadway, also known as Assessor’s Parcel Number 0186-093-18-0000 in the C-2 General Commercial Zone: Applicant Albert Sekoian, representative for Califa Harvest LLC ➢ Staff Report ➢ Council Questions of Staff ➢ Mayor to open the public hearing ➢ Public Comment • Applicant Comments • Comments in Favor
• Comments Opposed • Applicant Rebuttal ➢ Mayor to close the public hearing ➢ Council Discussion / Deliberation ➢ Resolution No. 2021-59 approving a Conditional Use Permit for a two-phase cannabis cultivation facility totaling 15,500 sq. ft. located in the C-2 (General Commercial) Zone at 1150 W, Broadway, APN 0186-093-18-0000.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-03-092821-1150 W Broadway distribution

  • Motion:

Approve.

More information about Agenda Item 3 has been posted at the following ZachNews website at:

https://zachnews.net/2021/10/07/downtown-needles-ca-needles-city-council-approves-conditional-use-permits-for-new-cannabis-cultivation-and-distribution-facilities-despite-opposition-to-downtown-location/

  • Voting Results: Approved: 4-3

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: No

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: Yes (Votes If There’s A Tie Vote)

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Yes

Member Belt: No

Member Longacre: No

 

  • Agenda Item 4:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against a Conditional Use Permit for a 258 sq. ft. cannabis distribution facility, located at 1150 W. Broadway, also known as Assessor’s Parcel Number 0186-093-18-0000, in the C-2 General Commercial Zone: Applicant Albert Sekoian, representative for Califa Harvest LLC ➢ Staff Report ➢ Council Questions of Staff ➢ Mayor to open the public hearing ➢ Public Comment • Applicant Comments • Comments in Favor • Comments Opposed • Applicant Rebuttal ➢ Mayor to close the public hearing ➢ Council Discussion / Deliberation ➢ Resolution No. 2021-60 approving a Conditional Use Permit for a 258 sq. ft. cannabis distribution facility, building C2, located at 1150 W. Broadway, APN 0186-093-18.

  • Agenda Packets (PDF File Downloads):

cc-04-092821-1150 W Broadway cult

cc-04-092821-attachments

  • Motion:

Approve.

More information about Agenda Item 4 has been posted at the following ZachNews website at:

https://zachnews.net/2021/10/07/downtown-needles-ca-needles-city-council-approves-conditional-use-permits-for-new-cannabis-cultivation-and-distribution-facilities-despite-opposition-to-downtown-location/

  • Voting Results: Approved: 4-3

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: No

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: Yes (Votes If There’s A Tie Vote)

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Yes

Member Belt: No

Member Longacre: No

 

  • Agenda Item 5:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against approving an Ordinance amending Chapter 6, Adding Article X, Entitled “Violation Penalty”, in the Needles Municipal Code adding penalties for work without permits has been continued to October 12, 2021 council meeting.

 

  • Agenda Item 6:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against a Conditional Use Permit for a two-phase development of a cannabis cultivation facility totaling 19,340 sq. ft. located at 315 Balboa Place, APN 0660-081-21 in a C-3 Highway Commercial Zone has been continued to October 26, 2021 council meeting.

 

***** 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 City Council may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Council action, a member of the public may address the City Council on matters scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A three-minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve Items 7 through 12 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

  • Agenda Item 7:

Approve the warrants register through September 28, 2021.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-07-092821-warrants

  • Agenda Item 8:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2021- 56 waiving the sealed bid process and accepting a quote from Vigilant Solutions LLC in the amount of $19,321.25 for purchase and installation of a license plate reader to be installed on a 2021 ATS/ATS-5 radar trailer using community oriented policing services (COPS) grant funds.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-08-092821-license plate reader

  • Agenda Item 9:

Receive and file the Transportation Development Act Triennial Performance Audit for Fiscal Years 2018-2020 for the Needles Transit Services.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-09-092821-NAT audit

  • Agenda Item 10:

Authorize the city manager to execute the Unsubsidized Work Experience/Community Service Training (WEX) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the County of San Bernardino Transitional Assistance Department.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-10-092821-MOU county work program

  • Agenda Item 11:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2021-58 approving the repair and replacement of the Colorado River Bridge Deck and existing guardrails of the SR-95 Needles Bridge, also known as California Bridge No. 54CO3949, Arizona Structure No. 2435, State Route 95.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-11-092821-Colorado Bridge repairs

  • Agenda Item 12:

Authorize the mayor to execute the Cooperative Agreement between the City of Needles and the County of San Bernardino for the Needles Highway Improvements Segment 1B.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-12-092821-Needles Hwy Seg 1B

  • Motion (Consent Calendar):

Approve the Consent Calendar.

  • Voting Results (Consent Calendar): Approved: Unanimously?

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: Yes

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: N/A

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Unknown – Restroom Break

Member Belt: Yes

Member Longacre: Yes

 

***** Regular Items: *****

  • Agenda Item 13:

Request to reconsider Resolution No 2021-53 and if approved motion to adopt Resolution No. 2021-53 approving a Conditional Use Permit for a 1,102 square foot cannabis retail business to be housed within the existing Mobil Gas Station building, located at 1005 E. Broadway, APN 0186-214-07, in the C-2 General Commercial Zone.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-13-092821-mobil gas sta disp

  • Motion (Reconsider):

Motion to reconsider.

  • Voting Results: Approved: Unanimously

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: Yes

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: N/A

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Yes

Member Belt: N/A (Conflict of Interest – Recused self because I owned property within 600 feet of that business)

Member Longacre: N/A (Conflict of Interest – Recused self because I was offered a job by a competitor)

  • Motion:

Approve with the amending motion of grindings – no asphalt and leave the parking open during construction.

Voting Results: Approved: Unanimously

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: Yes

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: N/A

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Yes

Member Belt: N/A (Conflict of Interest – Recused self because I owned property within 600 feet of that business)

Member Longacre: N/A (Conflict of Interest – Recused self because I was offered a job by a competitor)

 

  • Agenda Item 14:

Discussion regarding creation of a new Electric Rate Stabilization Fund with the monies from the marijuana tax currently deposited into the Economic Development Fund.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-14-09821-electri rate stabilization

  • Motion:

Motion to table this agenda item, and create an Ad Hoc Committee of 3 council members; Member Campbell, Member Wade Evans II and Vice Mayor Paget M.D.

  • Voting Results: Approved: 5-1

Member Campbell: Yes

Member Wade Evans II: No

Member Merritt: Yes

Mayor Williams: N/A

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.: Yes

Member Belt: Yes

Member Longacre: Yes

 

  • Agenda Item 15:

Discussion regarding an employee appreciation event.

  • Agenda Packet (PDF File Download):

cc-15-092821-employee event

  • Motion:

Motion of an employee appreciation event dinner inside the El Garces to be held on possibly Friday, December 10th, 2021.

  • Voting Results: Approved: Nobody Voted

Member Campbell:

Member Wade Evans II:

Member Merritt:

Mayor Williams: N/A

Vice Mayor Paget M.D.:

Member Belt:

Member Longacre:

 

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

  • Needles City Attorney:

John Pinkney

  • Reports:

Had nothing for this evening.

 

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

  • Needles City Manager:

Rick Daniels

  • Reports:

Here are a few of the topics spoken about:

Spoke about code enforcement has scheduled two community clean ups; the first one will be on November 6th, and we will have multiple dumpsters at at least five locations throughout town, including one at K Street, one at the ball fields, one in the Gates area, one at Murl Shaver Substation so that people can do their fall cleaning. It will start at 7:00 a.m. PT until 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. PT.

Spoke about working on a rabies clinic for the animal shelter because we lost our veterinarian who have been doing the rabies clinic; he retired. We searched for a veterinarian, and one from Hesperia is going to come out and do the rabies clinic either on November 6th or November 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT; more details will be provided soon. You’ll be able to get rabies shot and get your City licenses for your pet.

Spoke about getting a lot of questions about the grocery store; the report I want to provide you is it is still moving forward very well. The last report we received was the landlord and the grocer are imminent in signing a lease, but they are experiencing some problems with supply chains for coolers, freezers and shelving but they are working on it and I want to make sure everybody is up to speed.

Spoke about undertaking two traffic studies; one at North K Street and Needles Highway and hopefully be able to place that on your next agenda. The other is at Panda Garden on Needles Highway, the next out of their parking lot creates a hazard situation – a blind spot from traffic coming from the east. So we’re going to be looking at making a “Right Turn Only” to that parking lot and encouraging traffic down the alley to be able to come out.

Spoke about after the last meeting, we got notification from Caltrans that they are have identified four gateway communities into California – we’re one, and they’re gonna be putting up significant stones and normal signings at each of the gateway communities. They’ve also the local staff have applied for $5 million dollars for interchange cleanup and beautification.

Spoke about the road projects have been identified; we’re drafting the bid document, that should go out by the end of the month.

Spoke about working with the people who are putting on the 10-10 event (National Day of the Republic of China 10-10 Ceremony or Taiwan’s Independence Day) happening on Sunday, October 10th, 2021 in front of 1111 Bailey Avenue.

Spoke about getting State of California approval for our new water well design, so we’re going to put that out for bid within 10 days.

Spoke about getting the template letter to oppose the Orange County sex offender that was proposed to move to Newberry Springs, that letter can be signed by officials.

Spoke about the Bureau of Reclamation has announced their cutbacks on the use of the Colorado River; it is drawing down in volume more rapidly then what was projective but the cuts… the first rounds of cuts – we’re not affected but Arizona and Nevada have to reduce their use. The reason is our water rights are superior. But we are working on what kind of water conservation measures we can encourage – not demanding – saving water locally.

Spoke about the State of California has consolidated all the cannabis regulations into one agency, and they issued a lot of new regulations.

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

  • Needles City Council:

Ellen A. Campbell

  • Requests:

Here are a few of the topics spoken about:

Asked about if we paid for CDL’s for our employees? Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said “Yes.”

Spoke about meeting with Needles City Manager Rick Daniels last week in regards to the bathroom issue, went around and identified some problems with our public restrooms which some of them have been taken care of already; a urinal that wasn’t flushing, a sink that was missing, the girl’s restroom doesn’t have a restroom sign at Duke Watkins Park and we don’t want any mistakes on who’s restroom it is because children are using those restrooms and we always want to do our best to not put children in position that they shouldn’t be. We got to do some sort of soap dispensers that won’t be ripped from the walls, and Needles City Manager Rick Daniels is looking into that. At 19th Hole, they’ve been putting soap and hand sanitizer, and people have been stealing it.

Gave a plug to Needles City Council Zachery Longacre’s grassy knoll, not only we want a grassy knoll with a covered picnic area, can we look into how much it would cost to build a cinder block restroom. Needles City Council Zachery Longacre said there’s is a plan to put a community restroom at First and Second Beaches are located.

Asked that we as the council start jumping on doing whatever we need to do for the City’s General Plan so we can say from here to here (downtown) or to say how many (cannabis) because right now it’s either yes or no.

Asked about Army Road (Flip Mendez Parkway), it is on the status of our road improvements. many potholes along the roadway.

Spoke about looking into a sound wall along the north side of Interstate 40 just east of the bridge connecting D Street to Lillyhill Drive.

  • Needles City Council:

Donald Wade Evans II

  • Requests:

Asked about days on awareness; wanting to know what representing color of the awareness for this month to wear at the upcoming meetings in October 2021. Needles City Council Tona Belt said pink (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) for the first meeting on October 12th and red (Dyslexia Awareness Month) for the second meeting on October 26th.

  • Needles City Council:

Kirsten Merritt

  • Requests:

Asked about the League of California Cities, how did the voting all go with that? Are they going to oppose the Amazon thing (regarding the League’s Online Sales Tax Equity Resolution). Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said “No,” adding that there was a split of opinion but they voted the way you all recommended.

Said there’s a lot of fun events coming up in the city and to check out the Needles Regional Museum.

  • Needles Vice City Mayor:

Edward T. Paget M.D.

  • Requests:

Spoke about getting a message from the San Bernardino Transportation Authority which I visits on Wednesday on the first of the month, and they in the pass – the COVID-19 era – we’ve been having Zoom meetings and I haven’t had to drive to San Bernardino, and we were greeted with that California Governor Gavin Newsom has now changed that, and now will resume in-person meetings beginning on October 1st.

  • Needles City Council:

Tona Belt

  • Requests:

Here are a few of the topics spoken about:

Asked about are we gonna pick new playground equipment or has that already been done? Rainie Torrance from the City of Needles came up and said we just issued the bid; very general technical bid where we just give the square footage and kind of give the color schemes, and kind of see what type of new playground equipment we would like. The proposals will come back to the Needles Park and Recreation Commission for their recommendations for the Needles City Council. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said the final choice will be here.

Asked about updates from the Needles Chamber of Commerce in regards to community events and what events they are doing.

Asked about First Beach (regarding the building community restroom), when are we going to meet about doing that? Patrick Martinez from the City of Needles came up and said the engineer has been task on setting that up so when there’s a site plan we’ll bring it up to you, and we’ll talk about it and bring it back to the council and will go from there; we’ll make sure to get it in front of all of you on the council, but it will come to the council for approval.

  • Needles City Council:

Zachery Longacre

  • Requests:

Here are a few of the topics spoken about:

Asked about the asphalt shavings next to the school on Washington Street.

Spoke about how we spend a lot of money on landscaping rocks, we did haft of J Street, there’s a little section of bigger rocks that go up the driveway of Dollar General Store and I found out they’re ours. There vegetation (Weeds) growing through this,  did we spend thousands of dollars just to let the natural landscape grow back through? Because it’s all over; I think we need to pull those.

Asked that he would like the Needles City Attorney find the correct state definition for youth centers, all the definitions please.

Thanked the donors who put up fees for the Trunk or Treat event.

Sp0ke about he looked at all of the emails from the restroom situation in the bar (19th Hole). We brought in Touchstone, we’re clean up and painted the building, we keep putting Band-Aids on this situation? Why don’t we sit down with this company and invest some money into this restaurant; build them a deck, finish their floor; it needs $20,000 in electrical. They qualified for that economic plan. I think this is a diamond in the rock; we actually own a restaurant that views the Colorado River, and we charge $550 dollars a month and that’s the same price we charged in 10 years ago. I like staff to look into the situation, is this something we should invest in?

  • Needles City Mayor:

Jeff Williams

  • Requests:

Spoke about when we do the road bids, we’re also going to offer for businesses to get involved out there; we’re gonna get their parking lots repaved; they can bid with us so tehy can get a lower price.

Asked about the $5.6 million dollars grant at? Rainie Torrance from the City of Needles came up and said I feel comfortable saying that we’re going to get awarded the funding.

***** More Information: *****

Please contact Dale Jones, City Clerk for the City of Needles, either by phone at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 145 or by email at: djones@cityofneedles.com

***

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