An urban grant for $889,300 was passed by City Council on Oct. 1 after much discussion.

The Tehachapi City Council authorized city staff to independently seek a firm that will provide design services for the state-funded urban greening grant, even though the city received two bids from large companies.

"We received two resulting bids that are significantly above the budgeted amount of money that we have for the design phase services," said Jay Schlosser, city development services director. "We have reviewed those budgets and we feel like the primary reason in which the prices came back above, is ... that the two firms selected are very large firms and that perhaps they are sort of overselling us on the services that we're looking for in this situation."

Mayor Susan Wiggins, Councilwoman Joan Pogon-Cord and Councilman Michael Davies voted 3-0 in favor at the Nov. 18 meeting. Mayor pro-tem Phil Smith and Kenneth R. Hetge were absent.

Two firms the city has worked with in the past will be considered to provide design services, said Schlosser.

Pogon-Cord said, “Is there any time limitations on the grant? Would we lose that grant money because it's already been a considerable amount of time?”

Schlosser responded the city has three years to execute the grant from the time of the signed the agreement and that the city is “safely within the grant timeline.”

The estimated amount for this phase is $80,000, according to documents in the council agenda. The two bids received were $134,320.26 and $215,097.

The Citywide Tree Planting & Stormwater Capture Project calls for trees to be planted on Valley Boulevard from Curry toward the west, along the Tehachapi Boulevard bike path, on Antelope Run from Highline to Tehachapi Boulevard and other areas.

The grant application said, “The citywide tree planting and storm water capture project provides urban greening by adding approximately 474 trees with additional plants." It added that it is along 2.5 miles of bike paths and public spaces.

Tehachapi City councilmembers approved sending an application to the California Natural Resource Agency requesting $889,300 at its Oct. 1, 2018 meeting.