NEEDLES — The Needles City Council is going to be meeting today (Friday) to review plans for managing the anticipated crowds at Jack Smith Park following the announcement earlier this week that Bullhead City will be closing its parks and boat launches on weekends, starting immediately.
City Manager Rick Daniels said he expected the Needles riverfront park to see a significant increase in use in light of the ongoing closure of tribal beaches and Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady’s recent proclamation closing both Community Park and Rotary Park — and the boat launches at both — on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
In preparation, the city council will review and may revise the city manager’s plan of action which includes the following:
Additional law enforcement by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office; additional code enforcement for assistance and parking enforcement; additional and more frequent parks department personnel to maintain the restrooms and remove garbage; additional recreation department staffing at the boat launch and parking toll booth; setting a maximum park limit beyond which additional parking will not be allowed at Jack Smith Park; and improved channelization of traffic approaching and processing launch and parking toll both by the public works department.
The council also will consider limiting launches to those boats with an annual pass and stop the sale of daily passes.
“This possible significant increase in visitors must be properly managed by city staff,” Mayor Jeff Williams said. “The city is taking every imaginable measure to accommodate our neighbors seeking relief from beginning confined at home and/or unemployment. People need the relief provided by being in nature, breathing fresh air and taking in the sun. I strongly encourage them to do so using the commonly known COVID-19 prevention health precautions of washing hands frequently, social distancing, face coverings and avoiding crowds.”