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Needles designated opportunity zone

November 19, 2018 GMT

NEEDLES — The Needles Downtown Business Alliance met on Nov. 1 at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant along Needles Highway.

NDBA president Jan Jernigan went over some old business that included the meet and greet with Shannon Grove, Republican senatorial candidate for the state’s 16th district.

“We had a good showing, it was a nice event and she answered all of our questions,” said Jernigan.

Terry Campbell spoke about the Route 66 Needles Wayside Rest Stop cleanup that was scheduled for Oct. 13.

“It went well. Despite having a light turnout we were able to put together a good burn pile,” said Campbell. “I give kudos to the fire department who stuck around.”

On the Needles Train Park, Jernigan stated that the Front Street facility is almost complete and it just needs a little bit more gravel.

Patrick Martinez, city of Needles development director, gave a report on the city’s involvement in the International Council of Shopping Center Western Regional Convention (the report can be read in the opinion section of the Oct. 31 issue of the Needles Desert Star).

“Code enforcement has gone around and created a list of the vacant properties in the city,” said Martinez. “We are going to use the list to encourage business owners and developers to meet with the vacant property owners.”

“The overseed for the Little League and both softball fields have started in order for them to be ready for when their seasons start,” continued Martinez. “The River Street opening located by the underpass is about a month off because BNSF (Burlington Northern and Santa Fe) Railway is extending their two lines. As soon as we coordinate with them we will be able to move on from there.”

Martinez stated that the city has issued a request for proposal for a hydrologist in order to find a place for a new well to expand the pumping capacity for the city’s storage facility.

“We have been designated by the governor as an opportunity zone,” said Martinez. “The state of California is positioning itself to support communities (like us) to allow us to be competitive. What that does is if someone wants to open a business in the city based on this criterion the state will waive forgiveness of capital gains. We are going to take that and work with our economic consultant Michael Bracken and find a way we can use that in our city marketing.”

Ross Tarangle, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Colorado River Station captain stated that their coffee with a cop event at the Wagon Wheel went very well. “It was well attended and we got positive feedback from the community,” said Tarangle.

During the NDBA meeting, Stephanie Slagan was introduced as one of the new members from the Palo Verde College Foundation.

Slagan stated that she would like to work with the students of the community to help them with scholarships to attend Palo Verde College. As well as letting the businesses of Needles know that she is here to help as well.