Unsightly areas in some parts of unincorporated Kern County could be a thing of the past.
That according to Second District County Supervisor Zack Scrivner's Field Representative Ryan Rush, who reported at a recent Economic Development meeting that the county's "blight reduction program" could be introduced in Tehachapi soon.
Christy Fitzgerald, program coordinator for Kern County Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services confirmed Rush's statement, and said that although the program is still developing, she has been busy meeting with many community leaders and groups throughout the county since January.
And even though she did not identify Tehachapi as one of the areas she has already engaged with, she did say she would be interested in speaking to anybody in the community that may have ideas on how to revitalize their neighborhoods.
"We are doing some exciting things," Fitzgerald said. "The county is thinking outside the box and has never been this aggressive in going out and engaging the public to find out what the communities need."
The "blight reduction" program originally brought to the Kern County Board of Supervisors back by Scrivner, was approved in December of 2012.
At their last budget hearing supervisors approved $1.2 million to be transferred into a reserve from the county's general fund, which is to be used for fighting blight county-wide.
The money will be used for infrastructure improvements like roads and sidewalks, as well as streetscape amenities including improvements to public buildings and landscaping.
"The program addresses areas where a number of properties have been abandoned or deteriorated," Scrivner said earlier this year. "This program can help reduce crime and improve the image of the communities."
Manged by the county's code enforcement department, the program according to Fitzgerald, is a block-by-block approach with a focus on places that are in a big need for renovations and demolition, rather than individual residences or businesses.
"We have a real problem with blight in this county," she said. "So this is great way to make a difference in our communities."