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ON THE AGENDA: CITY COUNCIL SEPTEMBER 27 MEETING
A closed session on ?, new city employee Introductions, Hispanic Heritage Proclamation , TBID reauthorization and business improvement loans are highlights
Our City Manager continues to give Council a break after a summer of overloaded agendas. Tuesday’s agenda is only 163 pages long and includes just one public hearing and one action item.
The hearing is on the yearly reauthorization of the Tourism Business and Improvement District (TBID), which presented its case before council on August 23.
The action item is number 12 on the agenda: the Business Loan Improvement Program which was established by Council in September 2021. The loans which range from $5,000 to $40,000 require a 50% match from the property or business owner, and must be repaid in 10 years with 3% interest. Of the $350,000 was allotted for loans, $160,000 has been applied for and $40,000 has been distributed. The program is limited to exterior improvements to the businesses located in the Downtown Specific Plan. But given apparent lack of interest — 340 properties were notified but only four applied — Council is being asked to consider expanding the eligible area or make other adjustments to make the program more attractive to businesses.
An obvious question is whether businesses were polled about whether such a program is desirable or about why they have not applied? We also wonder how many businesses in the designated area are operator owned and how many are rentals?
Other items on the agenda are:
Item 1 - Closed session beginning at 5:15pm - Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation, Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1) (Bureau of Land Management adv. City of Twentynine Palms, IBLS Appeal 2020-358. There’ve been a few similar closed sessions, unclear as to what’s happening here.
Items 2 & 3 Include the Introduction of the City’s Newest Employees, and a proclamation for 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month. We’re guessing that Keith Gardner is going to be introduced as our new Community Development Director (CDD), replacing Travis Clark. Gardner has been acting CDD since early August.
The Consent Calendar generally consists of routine items approved with a single vote. The seven items include the approval of minutes from the August and September Council meetings, Project Phoenix Warrant, the Morongo Basin Ambulance Report for August, the Legislative Report for September and the Acceptance of Work for Demolitions at Freedom Way. Item 6 is the City Warrant Register, which is what you want to look at if you’re curious about where the money goes on a month to month basis. In the last 30 days or so, that would be Terra Nova — the company responsible for the Equity and Social Justice workshops, fees for Keefer Consulting –– our likely new our Community Development Director’s firm, dead animal removal, a lobbying firm and a company specializing in Christmas decorations among many other payees.
The entire agenda packet is available for review at: September 27 City of Twentynine Palms City Council Agenda