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Twentynine Palms City Council talks road/pedestrian safety; discusses self-help housing program

The Twentynine Palms City Council hosted a swift meeting last night that resulted in a new appointment to the Tourism Business Improvement District, a discussion on a housing program, a road/pedestrian safety report, and the official birth of the Youth Council.

At last night’s meeting, the Twentynine Palms City Council heard from Interim City Manager Larry Bowden who presented on Roads and Pedestrian Safety. (An outside engineering firm, KOA, conducted the research.) Bowden reported that installed safety signs and flashing lights will soon help improve safety where local students walk to and from campus. There is a plan for a four-way stop sign at Amboy Road and Utah Trail. The city was recently awarded $420K to develop a 7.1-mile bike path plan, and Split Rock Bridge is slated for an expansion (after 12 years in the making) using state funds. 

Former Mayor John Cole (with current Mayor Steven Bilderain) is recognized for his service to the city. Photo Credit: Heather Clisby

An item was removed from the Consent Calendar for a brief discussion, namely, the establishment of the Youth Council. Parks and Recreation Division Manager Kary Minatrea will act as the staff advisor to the new council and the resolution was passed. 

Next, the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) Subcommittee (Mayor Steve Bilderain and Mayor Pro Tem Joel Klink) recommended the appointment of Ashton Ramsey to the TBID Advisory Board. Ramsey, owner of Ramsey 29, a local motel on the city’s eastern edge, thanked the council: 

“Everyone is kind of coming together and working together and I think that’s the exciting thing about this town. I’ve never been a part of any town or any place or seen anything like this where you have so many people that are cheering each other on. There’s no competitive nature in this town and, I think, as long as we have that, this town’s gonna be amazing and we’re gonna showcase what we have to the world. It gets really exciting.” 

The council then discussed how to move forward on the Self-Help Housing Project which requires designating ten connecting city-owned lots for the program. Community Development Director Keith Gardner presented three options and asked for direction. The council advised Gardner to explore the first two options – that the city purchase ten vacant lots in an existing sub-division, or the city purchase an approved but yet-undeveloped subdivision. 

Finally, the council approved the allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the Parks and Recreation Department’s parking lot which is not up to ADA standards and is in poor shape. 

Residents who have any questions or concerns and would like to chat with Mayor Bilderain, should consider meeting him at Fans Sport Bar and Grill, 4966 Adobe Road, this Friday, January 26, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

Heather Clisby

Heather Clisby has been working in journalism and communications for over three decades, includings stints at newspapers, magazines, blogs and radio stations. A native of Long Beach, California, she can usually be found guiding tourists in Joshua Tree National Park, auditioning and/or clapping for others at Theatre 29, playing improv, or supporting all her friends in loud bands. She lives with her dog, Sweetpea, in Twentynine Palms.


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Heather Clisby has been working in journalism and communications for over three decades, includings stints at newspapers, magazines, blogs and radio stations. A native of Long Beach, California, she can usually be found guiding tourists in Joshua Tree…

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