AP NEWS

Park meetings continue as Needles pursues grant funds

March 23, 2019

NEEDLES – The city of Needles, through Proposition 68, has an opportunity to make improvements on parks, acquire new features for the parks, rehabilitate parks and more.

Proposition 68 authorized $4 billion in general obligation bonds for state and local parks, environmental protection and restoration projects, water infrastructure projects and flood protection projects. The largest amount of the bond revenue, $650 million, was earmarked for neighborhood parks.

“This meeting is to learn areas of interest and things that you, as community members, would like to see improved in the community,” said Rainie Torrance. “It’s really important to keep in mind that this grant requires a new feature. So whatever project that we pick it needs to have a new feature whether that be a new slide, new pool or a new trail so coming up with new ideas is very important.”

There were a lot of suggestions that were given during the meeting. Some of those suggestions were to expand the recreation center with two basketball, pickleball, racquetball courts and a stage; a splash pad, tennis courts, river walk and urban trail, batting cages, heated pool, DARE program, disk golf course and a lot more.

“For each project site that’s picked we have to hold five meetings at that site so each application that we send will be for that specific park,” said Torrance.

“From the suggestions we get, city staff is going to cost out projects and take them to the council. They’ll prioritize projects in a city council meeting with public comment available,” said Rick Daniels, city manager.

“An important part of the grant is that we have to be able to maintain whatever we choose to do ourselves for 30 years,” said Torrance. “When we send our applications for the projects the state is going to look at our city and determine which they can provide funding for.”

A series of Prop 68 meetings are to be held in different locations chosen during the initial March 13 workshop, including:

Saturday, March 23, at noon at Jack Smith Park;

Monday, March 25, at 10 a.m. at the Needles Aquatic Center;

Wednesday, March 27, at noon at Bureau Bay at the downstream end of Jack Smith Park;

Friday, March 29, at 2 p.m. at Jack Smith Park;

Saturday, March 30, at noon at Duke Watkins Park.

More meeting dates are to be announced: keep track at www.thedesertstar.com.