BARSTOW • Councilmember Willie Hailey was absent. Among items discussed at Monday's City Council meeting:
Pit bulls will be required to be spayed or neutered • The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a new ordinance that will require all pit bulls and pit bull mixes — with a few exceptions — to be spayed or neutered.
A subcommittee formed to look at different issues with the humane society decided to suggest the ordinance because most of the animal service calls within the city concern pit bulls and most of the dogs at the humane society are pit bulls. Pit bulls are often hard to adopt and are often euthanized at the shelter.
The ordinance will allow animal control officers to issue infraction notices for the first three violations starting at $100 and increasing to $300 for a third violation. Owners who continue to refuse to get their pet spayed or neutered face a $500 fee and a possible misdemeanor.
"This does not punish the animal," said Councilman Tim Saenz, who is a member of the subcommittee. "It puts the responsibility on those who care for the animal."
Noisy animal ordinance approved • The City Council approved an ordinance Monday night that will allow animal control officers to issue citations to owners of noisy animals.
The ordinance will address animals that continuously make noise, such as a dog that barks constantly without reason. In order for citations to be issued, at least two neighbors within 200 yards of the animal must complain about the noise and animal control officers must verify that the amount of noise is unreasonable. People who have dogs that bark to defend their territory will not be affected by the ordinance.
First Avenue bridge may be closed due to repairs • The First Avenue bridge may have to be completely closed for a short period of time during the next two weeks in order to safely complete repairs, said City Engineer Nick Nichols at the meeting on Monday. At least one lane will be shut down during the repairs and the public will be notified about the potential delays, said Nichols.
Urgent sewer repairs approved • The City Council unanimously approved two separate sewer repairs to West Main Street — one just east of Avenue G and one at the intersection of East Main Street and Roberta Street.
The cost of both projects is estimated to be about $134,360. The city is proposing to build a new sewer line near Avenue G and the area near Roberta street will have a hole in the manhole structure repaired.
Funding approved for hire of new animal control officer • The City Council unanimously approved an extra $60,000 in funding for the Barstow Humane Society in order to pay for a new full-time animal control officer. The addition of an animal control officer will allow for 24-hour service calls. The police department currently handles a large portion of animal service calls when the Humane Society is closed.
City to lease six new vehicles • The City Council unanimously approved the replacement of six city vehicles through a vehicle lease with Enterprise Fleet Management for an annual cost of $28,597. The city hopes to save $13,000 in maintenance costs for the older vehicles, as well as savings on the cost of gas due to the improved gas mileage for the newer vehicles.
New purchasing system approved • The City Council unanimously approved a new purchasing system that will allow city staff to pull from a pool of previously approved contractors when beginning a new project under $125,000.
If a project is more than $125,000, the current formal bidding procedures must be used in order to approve the project — which means the city has to ask for bids from multiple contractors and increases the time before the project can begin. The new policy will also allow projects that are estimated to cost less than $25,000 to be performed by city employees.
32 parcels of land transferred from RDA to City • The City Council approved 3-1 — with Saenz abstaining because he did not know if he owned property within 500 feet of the parcels — to convey 32 parcels owned by the Barstow Redevelopment Agency to the City of Barstow. Community and Economic Development Director Ron Rector said the city will still work to bring about the redevelopment of the parcels and the transfer was made to clean up the deeds, because some of the properties have been owned by the agency since the 1990s.
Sewer fee collection through liens reinstated • The City Council approved 3-1 — with Mayor Joe Gomez dissenting — to allow the City to collect deficient sewer fees by placing liens on homes. The City Council had previously approved a sewer fee increase without the ability to place liens on homes.