Golden Hills is one step closer to having its own fire station in the neighborhood now that a land purchase was approved at the latest Tehachapi Unified School District board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
The Golden Hills Community Services District plans to acquire two parcels of land, including about 27 acres located on Golden Star Boulevard, and 16 acres on Moon Drive.
As part of the offer, the CSD agreed to purchase the land on Moon Drive for $108,000.
The Golden Star Boulevard site was listed at $374,000. The Golden Hills CSD agreed to trade the rights of 268.85 acre feet of groundwater in the Tehachapi Basin, all of which will be used by Golden Hills Elementary School.
The offer was unanimously approved by the school board.
The plan for a seasonal fire station in Golden Hills was revealed by Ryan Rush, field representative for 2nd District Supervisor Zack Scrivner, at a Great Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting last year.
According to Chief Administrator of Business for the Tehachapi Unified School District, Nick Heinlein, the school district owns a number of surplus land parcels spread throughout Tehachapi, including sites in Stallion Springs, Cummings Valley, Mountain Meadows, and Alpine Forest.
"It costs money for us to hold land," Heinlein said, noting that the district has to pay the state if it continues to hold unused land. He said it was better to sell the property.
According to Heinlein, one percent of the appraised value of the school district's unused sites is paid to the State of California. He added that TUSD is legally required to use the funds acquired from property purchases only to supplement district facilities.
Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall said the next step in moving forward with plans for the proposed fire station is to begin a lot line adjustment, where a portion of the parcel purchased on Golden Star Boulevard will be demarcated for the county.
Chief Marshall said he doesn't have an idea what the station will cost the county in total, but did note that the county will begin with a temporary station.
"We'll probably start with a mobile home or a temporary building," Marshall said in a phone interview.
Marshall said he hopes to have a temporary station functioning by June 1.
Eventually, the station will comprise six firefighters, three on a regular fire engine, and three on a ladder truck. Marshall said the battalion chief from Kern County Fire Station 11 in Keene will be moved to the new station in Golden Hills.
"It'll probably take about a year or so of design and engineering, so we're probably going to start construction in 2016 for a permanent facility," Marshall said.
The Chief said the permanent station will take up about two and half or three acres of the parcel on Golden Star Boulevard.
Marshall said with it was determined that an additional fire station was needed due to the Tehachapi area expanding as a whole.
"With growth there's more incidents," he said. "We evaluate how many calls we're receiving, what the population is, etc. And this area is needing another fire station."