ON THE AGENDA: CITY COUNCIL MARCH 14 MEETING
A relatively light week, led by strategic planning, the PAAC, and wastewater
The City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14. Much of this much shorter agenda concerns a continuation of the strategic planning process, public arts in the City, and the ever-popular topic of wastewater treatment.
The public has multiple opportunities to comment at every Council meeting. Please use the opportunity of Council meetings to question your Council members on the issues affecting our City.
Public comments for all items are limited to three minutes per agenda item, but the public is entitled to fill out requests to speak on multiple items and may also speak during general public comments. To comment, pick up a green form at the desk, fill it out, and hand it to the City Clerk who is usually sitting on at the desk at the front of room on the right side. The public can also send comments via email to Council members and the City Manager and cc the City Clerk requesting that comments be read at the meeting.
As is our usual, we’ll be pointing to agenda highlights but encourage Twentynine Palms residents to read the full agenda.
Agenda items 3-8: The Consent Calendar consists of several items that can be approved with one vote. Generally they are routine items, but the Council has the option to pull any item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Despite the number of items, all public comment happens prior to the Council vote on the full list.
#5. Award Construction Contract for the Community Development Department Tenant Improvement Project. Bids were received, opened, and publicly read on March 7, 2023, for interior tenant improvements at 73660 Civic Center Dr., a building leased to dentist offices. The City Manager recommends awarding the contract to KNC Construction, Inc., the lowest bidder. More on this here.
#6. Permission to Pursue the Creative Corps Grant of $100,000. A City agency such as the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) is required to request permission from Council prior to pursuing grant funding. The Creative Corps Grant is a program of the California Arts Council that targets disadvantaged communities through the arts to increase 1) public awareness related to water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, and emergency preparedness, relief, and recovery; 2) civic engagement, including election participation; and 3) social justice and community engagement. Residents can view the rough draft of the PAAC proposal here.
#7. Augmentation to the Sheriff’s Contract to Add a Detective. During the Strategic Planning Session that takes place every two years, our Sheriff's Captain noted that the caseload of our single detective exceeds the amount that one person can handle, and the results of that are delayed investigations. Given the Council's Public Safety priority, they gave direction to augment the Sheriff's Contract to include a second deputy. The staff report on this item includes a copy of the contract and related costs.
#8. Wastewater Treatment Design. The City Council authorizes the City Manager to negotiate and execute an agreement in the amount of $990,316 with Carollo Engineers to provide engineering services for the furtherance of the City Wastewater Treatment Project.
The City released a SOQ (Statement of Qualifications) to retain a professional engineering firm to help guide the project. The SOQ closed in May 2022 with three SOQs submitted. This work will be paid by San Bernardino County ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Funding awarded to the City.
According to a lively thread on Facebook’s What’s Going On in 29 Palms group, a citizen’s committee is being formed by the City Council to advise where the treatment plant should be located.
The Desert Trumpet has covered wastewater issues several times before if you want more background:
3/2/22 Editorial: Confine Sewer Plan to the Downtown Area
11/15/22 City Council Meeting Recap
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
#9. Strategic Planning Guidance Document. Tonight, the City Council will vote to approve the recently drafted Strategic Guidance Document. Every two years, City Council, Staff, and Community come together to discuss and plan the strategic priorities of the City that will become a policy document for resource allocation. In meetings held on January 24 and 25—ten priorities were identified. We reported on the process in “29’s Strategic Planning’s Top 10-ish.” The following list is from the staff report for this item.
1. New Shelter / Animal Control
2. Addition of a Sheriff Detective
3. Ballfield Lights
4. Theatre29 Expansion
5. Housing and Homeless Advisory Committee
7. IT Improvements
8. Debt financing to pay for major improvements
9. Revenue Augmentation to pay for debt financing
10. Emergency Response Plan
#10. Budget Adjustment Request for the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC). The Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) is requesting a budget augment of $6,000.00 for the remainder of this fiscal year to 1) supplement its current Youth in Arts granting program with grants for arts events produced by community organizations and groups 2) hire a conservator to survey the condition of the thirteen pieces of public art owned by the City, 3) increase pay for the PAAC assistant, and 4) hire a grant writer to assist with the Creative Corps Grant discussed in item #6 above.
#11. The City Council adopt the Resolution determining the number of members on the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) and approve its Mission Statement. The City Council requested modifications to a prior version of the PAAC’s Mission Statement presented before the City Council on February 15th. The major difference between this version and the one presented to the City Council in February is clarification of language defining the advisory capacity of the PAAC m that the language of the PAAC's responsibilities have been modified to be more of an advisory nature. The revised Mission can be reviewed here.
The PAAC was formed in 2004 with the primary task of reviewing public sculpture acquisitions. Since then, the PAAC also initiated open call exhibitions at the Twentynine Palms Visitors Center and Youth in Arts grants.
In Fall 2022, several founding PAAC members announced their retirement, prompting the appointment of five new members: Cindy Bernard, Ryan Heffington, Kate Lee-Short, Anna Stump and Kat Talley-Jones. The new members have been working to rewrite and expand the mission of the PAAC to incorporate “literary, visual and performing arts.” The Council appoints its members who are artists and/or arts professionals.
The PAAC is directed toward supporting high-quality public art and performance in the City with the following objectives:
To enrich the public environment for both residents and visitors
To nurture, enhance, and encourage the community's participation in arts
To enable Twentynine Palms to enhance its identity as an arts community
To increase public access to promote an understanding and awareness of the arts
Disclosure: Desert Trumpet contributor Kat Talley-Jones is a member of the Public Arts Advisory Committee, which is a part of the City of Twentynine Palms.
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