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Wednesday, Dec 18 2013 06:00 AM

Fire station proposed in Golden Hills

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Golden Hills Community Services District officials hope to purchase two sites from the Tehachapi Unified School District, indicated by red stars, and use a portion of the plot along Golden Star Boulevard as a possible location for a new proposed Kern County Fire station. Source: Google Maps

A Kern County Fire Department station may be built in Golden Hills before next fire season.

Golden Hills Community Services District officials are in negotiations with the Tehachapi Unified School District for the purchase of surplus land owned by TUSD. The three parcels, broken into two blocks, are located along Moon Drive and Golden Star Boulevard.

According to the property listing, the Moon Drive plot measures about 16 acres and is listed for $108,000, while the Golden Star Boulevard plot is about 27 acres and costs $374,000. Both areas are zoned as residential.

Golden Hills board member Ed Kennedy said the fire station would be on the larger plot on Golden Star Boulevard. The post would begin as a temporary station, and eventually a permanent structure would be built.

Ryan Rush, field representative for 2nd District Supervisor Zack Scrivner, revealed the existence of the tentative plan for a seasonal fire station in Golden Hills during a Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting earlier this year.

The property listing agent Gayle Stewart, who is also president of the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District, said she has "no current offers" on the properties, and that they have been on the market for a little more than a year.

"There's been lots of interest," she said.

The GHCSD board was scheduled to discuss making an offer on the properties at a special board meeting on Monday, Dec. 16. The meeting was set for after the deadline for this edition; if action was taken it will be reported next week.

Kennedy said he expected the board to approve the offer and added that the district had been negotiating with TUSD for some time.

"It's a package deal," the board member said, referring to the three parcels.

If the deal moves forward as currently outlined, GHCSD would pay $108,000 outright -- which Kennedy said was only coincidentally the cost of the Moon Drive parcel -- and trade water for the remainder.

Besides the fire station, GHCSD officials hope to develop the land into public parks, in cooperation with TVRPD.

Kennedy claimed that potential litigation from Benz Sanitation over the curbside trash pickup issue and the board recall effort underway in the community would negatively impact the plans to bring the fire station to the community.

"Benz is trying to stop us," Kennedy said, referring to the district's new solid waste plans. "There's a strong recall effort against the board. If all the board members get recalled, how are we going to continue with the projects we've got going?"

Even though the district has the funds to purchase the land, he said it is in other accounts, like one for maintenance of the district's flood control channel.

Essentially, Kennedy said the fire station would provide a much greater immediate benefit to the community than repairing the flood control channel with all the budgeted $200,000.

"It's a matter of priorities," he said.

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