New information on the hospital, the Kern County second district boundary changes and upcoming events for the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District was announced at the Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting on Wednesday.
More than 80 people attended the meeting at its new location, the Slice Of Life Enrichment School on 48771 W. Valley Blvd.
Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley President Jeff Lingerfelt spoke about construction fixes, and how the organization can help the community be healthier while waiting for the new hospital to open.
As previously reported, 28 or more doors need to be fixed, including correcting gaps of one-eighth inch near the ceiling and adding automatic door openers and steel caps to prevent damage.
Those fixes are expected to finished in mid-May, Lingerfelt said.
Other construction in the works includes demolition of the lab to fix incorrect countertop heights and adjust to other code compliance issues throughout the hospital.
Lingerfelt added that a community assessment is in the works. That involves connecting with local pastors, community members and with the Tehachapi Unified School District to identify the best preventative measures to keep Tehachapi residents out of the hospital.
“Health care is all about improving quality, improving patient experience and driving down cost,” Lingerfelt said.
Lingerfelt added that in the future, he hopes Tehachapi's hospital will be able to distribute baby formula, diapers, furniture and other items to people in the community in partnership with World Vision, as other Adventist Health locations have done in the Central Valley. World Vision receives items that have been returned by Costco customers and then helps distribute them to communities.
The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District Guild donated close to $600,000 for surgery equipment for the new hospital.
The hospital is still slated to open in July, Lingerfelt said.
Kern County Second District
Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner spoke about the additional territory that has been added to the second district in Kern County.
“I will still retain essentially everything that was in the second district before, but I will be taking on Frazier Park, Lake of the Woods, Pine Mountain Club, Lebec and Taft and Maricopa,” Scrivner said of the changes slated to go into effect in May.
The second district currently includes Bakersfield, Boron, Caliente, California City, Mojave, Rosamond and Tehachapi.
Scrivner said he already had the biggest district geographically in the county at 2,800 square miles, but thinks he will now serve about 3,700 square miles, which is close to a 30 percent increase.
Supervisorial district boundaries have been redrawn following a challenge from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which charged that Latinos' votes were being diluted. The new boundaries approved by a federal judge create two Latino-majority districts.
“Through no intent we had diluted the vote by the way which we drew the lines," Scrivner said.
Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District Manager Michelle Vance announced that many different ways to gain community input for a possible $43 million bond measure are being used.
The bond money, if passed by voters, is expected to revitalize existing facilities and possibly build a new recreation center in the future. A random telephone survey will go out to 400 people to gather their input on the bond.
The annual Fishing Derby is at Brite Lake and is scheduled for 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21.
In other business ...
• The new Tehachapi branch of the Kern County Library is coordinating a "Star Wars"-themed fundraising event called May the Fourth Be With You from 3 to 6 p.m. May 4, said library associate Timaree Torres.
Adults and children are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costume and participate in a scavenger hunt, while a silent auction is being held. Many small activities for this special theme will be held all day long as well. There will also be all-day book sale on May 5.
Friends of the Library are in need of help with funding the year's supplies and activities due to funds being spent on the move to the new location. The fundraising goal is at least a few thousand dollars, Torres said.
The silent auction will help raise funds for summer reading events, craft supplies, coordinating visits for wildlife shows, and prizes for raffles. Anyone who would like to donate an item for the silent auction can call 661-822-4938 or drop off an item at 212 S. Green St.
• A new business called Think Green Pedicabs is exploring the possibility of offering their services and giving rides in the downtown area to visitors and residents. A bicycle with padded seating on a small trailer would transport people to their destination, said Stephen Schrepfer, owner of the business.