NEEDLES — Can residents of the city of Needles enjoy stabilizing surface treatments on local streets without the age of water and sewer pipes or other infrastructure below those streets coming back to haunt them? People on portions of Route 66; Front, Third, F, G, Goodwill, Aliso, North M, North L, Race and Vine streets; Hospitality Lane; Gilman Drive; Monterey Avenue; Ice Plant, Park, Budweiser and North My Place roads will soon see improvements under the city’s new pavement management plan. The plan addresses streets in better shape first; the idea is to stabilize those to avoid more elaborate and expensive repairs if they’re allowed to deteriorate further.

Four councilors took four votes to accept three bids from two successful bidders out of five for work on 18 city streets in the regular meeting of the Needles City Council Feb. 11. It was the second time the item went to bid. There was reported to have been a mathematical error in the first round.

Pavement Coatings’ $240,847 bid was the winner for asphalt patching and overlay. Two bids were awarded to VSS International: $85,120 for crack filling and $255,120 for slurry and striping.

Councilors Zachery Longacre and Tona Belt recused themselves from the proceedings due to having properties along the affected routes. With four votes necessary, the move was initially stymied when Councilor Louise Evans said she was not comfortable voting for work on streets when the condition of water pipes and such below was unknown. “Aesthetics are great things but what do we have underneath it?” Evans asked; pointing out that a couple of the areas: Goodwill and Zamora Heights, are pretty old. She asked for a report on the condition of the infrastructure below the streets.

City Manager Rick Daniels said a generalized review was done when the list of improvements was put together and that none of the streets are in areas where the city has experienced a lot of water line breaks. He suggested having the water department review the list and be prepared to go in and do repairs as work progressed.

The streets on the list are only to receive a surface treatment which is easily cut and patched if problems arise, he continued. When major work is undertaken that requires grinding off an existing layer of asphalt each water line is to be checked.

He offered to bring back a report from the water department, not present at the Feb. 11 meeting, of any of the streets that are considered to be at risk.

Councilor Shawn Gudmundson added there was no reason to remove the existing surface from the streets to check water lines at the present time as the streets are only getting a treatment to prolong their life.

Councilor Ed Paget suggested tabling the item until a report could be generated; Evans turned that suggestion into a motion which failed with her and Paget voting for, Gudmundson and Councilor Tim Terral voting against.

Gudmundson then called for a vote on the item as initially presented which failed when Evans voted against.

Daniels again offered to bring back a report from the water department. Both Gudmundson and Terral urged an affirmative vote to get the project under way. Evans relented, making a motion to reconsider the item which was accepted unanimously.

The project list was then approved with four affirmative votes.

The estimated project total of $673,852.30 including bid preparation, design, quality assurance and contingency fund are to be paid from general fund revenues, primarily cannabis industry taxes.

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