TNT FIREWORKS • Louis Linney, a vice president at TNT Fireworks, gave a presentation urging the city to allow state-approved "safe and sane" fireworks in the city. Linney said the city should regulate fireworks sales to approved nonprofit organizations only, which would receive the fireworks from TNT. The nonprofits would keep a percentage of the profits.
CITY SPONSORSHIP OF MUD RUN • The council voted 4-1, with Councilman Tim Saenz dissenting, to provide in-kind sponsorship of the Mud Run event, scheduled for May 12. Staff estimated that helping set up the event would take a four-person crew three days at a cost of about $3,000. Use of the city's heavy equipment would normally be worth about $900, Assistant City Manager Oliver Chi said.
The council did not decide whether to become a sponsor of the event by making a financial contribution. Organizers said the planned 3.1 mile race, with 12 mud pit obstacles, would create a signature annual event in Barstow, could help the local economy and encourage young people to be more active. Saenz told organizers he did not think they had a good enough plan in the event they did not draw enough participants.
BARSTOW LANDFILL • The city is collecting more solid waste, an indicator that the economy may be improving, Chi said. Overall solid waste receipts at the Barstow Landfill are down, however, and the county's Solid Waste Division still faces a $13.3 million shortfall. County officials have said that closing some rural landfills, including the Barstow Landfill, may be on the table to cut costs.
RESOLUTION ON ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT • The council unanimously passed a resolution expressing support for the city of Ontario assuming local control of its airport. The airport is operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the city of Los Angeles, and Ontario has no representation on that group, Councilman Tim Saenz said at the Feb. 6 council meeting. The airport has lost over one-third of its passenger traffic in the past four years.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS CONVENTION • The council approved sending four staff members, one representative from the Chamber of Commerce, and two councilmembers to the International Council of Shopping Centers Convention in Las Vegas May 20 to 23. Chi said that staff was working with outside companies to gather data on household spending and traffic patterns in Barstow in hopes of convincing retail corporations and developers to consider new projects in the city.
Chi said the city could encourage development by selecting projects and giving them an exclusive negotiating window of 60 or 90 days at a particular site. "Barstow may not be their first choice unless we make it easy for them," Chi said. Mayor Joe Gomez and Councilman Tim Silva said they would attend and meet with prospective businesses.