BARSTOW Among items discussed at Monday's City Council meeting:

Council approves annexation of 145 acres in West Lenwood The Barstow City Council unanimously approved the annexation of an area of West Lenwood that is almost entirely surrounded by the city of Barstow.

The area to be annexed is west of and next to Lenwood Road, south of the north line of the BNSF Railway and north of Sweeten Lane.

The City Council had to approve the annexation in order to be in compliance with state law.
Some residents currently living in the area were concerned about the zoning changes that would come into effect once the area was incorporated into the city.

Christi Samuel lives in the proposed annexation area and was upset that she would be unable to start a home business once the annexation takes place because her property is currently residential.

Residents in the annexation who are currently operating home businesses will be allowed to do so in a residential area for 20 years under a grandfather clause.

Council approves public comment period on Hazard Mitigation Plan draft The City Council unanimously approved the public comment period of October 18 through October 29 for its hazard mitigation plan draft.

This plan gives detailed descriptions of different natural disasters that could occur in Barstow and how the city will cope with each one. The plan also includes the possible financial cost to the city from the disasters and the number of casualties that could occur.

Residents who wish to comment on the plan can submit comments to the Barstow Fire Protection District headquarters at 861 Barstow Road. Comments will be considered and incorporated into the plan as appropriate.

The final draft of the plan is tentatively set to be approved in January.

Purchase of VHF Communication Systems approved The City Council unanimously approved the purchase of two-way VHF communication systems for city employees.

The new systems will replace the individually issued cell phones that employees currently use.

The VHF systems will serve as the primary communication system for everyday operations and will also work in disaster situations when cell phone service is disrupted.

The two-way communication systems will be more cost effective than cell phones because they can be transferred between employees and do not have to be individually issued.

Hi-Desert Communications had the lowest bid of $30,953.54 total for 40 handheld radios and 30 vehicle mounted radios. This amount includes all associated costs such as installation and VHF frequency licenses.

Installation of benches and shelters approved The City Council unanimously approved the installation of four new bus shelters and benches for $3,550.

The bus shelters will be located at 600 East Main Street, 2543 Jasper Road, the intersection of East Main Street and Cal Avenue and at the intersection of Barstow Road and Rimrock.

Changes to contract for Avenue H reconstruction project approved The City Council unanimously approved to make changes to a contract with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works to reconstruct Avenue H from West Main Street to Armory Road.

The road lies outside city limits within San Bernardino County's right of way. Construction costs for the city of Barstow will be about $1.5 million and San Bernardino County will pay $69,828.

Contract with Barstow Heights Community Services District approved The City Council unanimously approved a contract with the Barstow Heights Community Services District to provide park maintenance services for parks in the Barstow Heights area.

The city of Barstow will pay for any repairs or maintenance up to $200 at both Barstow Heights Park and Panamint and the Barstow Heights Community Services District will pay for any repairs that cost more than $200.

The contract replaces a prior contract that will soon be expiring and has the same provisions as the older one. The contract term is 10 years with an option of a five-year extension.