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Tuesday, Jul 22 2014 11:13 AM

State finalizes OHV grant award for Tehachapi

A grant for Tehachapi's planned off highway vehicle facility remains intact following the state's release of final grant funding for the coming fiscal year.

The final report was posted on July by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, with Tehachapi receiving $972,500 for the development and maintenance of an OHV facility for motorcycles at the planned event center.

The city will provide $576,916 in matching funds for a $1,549,416 project.

The 13-acre motocross park would be located on property on the north side of the city-owned airport.

Michelle Vance, Tehachapi's community outreach coordinator, said that representatives from the state parks and recreation department were in Tehachapi July 10 to visit the site.

"They're so excited for our project," Vance said.

Vance said the city is currently going through the environmental process for development of the OHV park.

"Once we complete the environmental, which we hope to circulate in October, we will sign paperwork with the state and get to work," Vance said.

The project requires a California Environmental Quality Act process for the entire event center, including the motocross facility. Vance said the city is currently conducting its noise impact and traffic impact studies for the CEQA process.

Because the project is funded with state OHV grant money, visitors would need a current green or red OHV sticker from the state to use the facility.

The park will benefit both local Tehachapi area residents and those from the surrounding area, Vance said. The nearest legal motocross area is located near California City.

"During the summer time, people from the desert and the valley would be able to come to enjoy the facility here in Tehachapi," Vance said. "It will be great for restaurants, gas stations, and stores so it's a perfect economic driver in an industry different than a strip mall or big box store."

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