With Tehachapi's police department established in its new station, the city has its eyes set on reproposing the building at the corner of East "F" Street and Robinson that once housed City Hall, the old Tehachapi Police Department and the sub-station for the Kern County Sheriff.
The Tehachapi City Council approved a $21,900 contract to Omni Design Group for the design phase of the building's rehabilitation on July 21.
The structure will be redesigned to accommodate certain departments from the newer city building next door on Robinson Street, according to City Engineer Jay Schlosser.
He said that once the building is complete, the city's public works, engineering, development and assistant city manager's offices will be relocated to the older building.
Pre-design efforts have already been conducted and now the city is ready for the next step, Schlosser said.
"Now that the police department has moved out, we've had a chance to see what we're up against and we're prepared to move forward," Schlosser said. He said the first phase of the remodel will be pretty modest: new paint, new carpeting and electrical upgrades.
Mounted on the exterior of the building on th "F" Street side is a wooden sign dedicated to William Mantoth, police chief for the city's earlier police department. Mantoth had served as police chief for 10 years before he was shot and killed on Aug. 11, 1968, while attempting to arrest a kidnapping-rape suspect.
Greg Garrett, Tehachapi's city manager, said after the meeting that the sign would remain at its current present location. He added that the sign remained in relatively fair condition and would not need to be refurbished.
Mayor Phil Smith commented on the full circle the building has gone through, having been part of the original city hall, then a police station before being re-annexed for municipal services.
"It's a good re-use of the property and there's no sense in tearing it down," Smith said.
Renewed AECOM contract
The council also renewed its contract with AECOM for engineering consultant services. AECOM has conducted business with the city since 2005, when it was known as Boyle Engineering.
The last contract with AECOM, which began in 2010 when the engineering firm incorporated under its current name, ended in December 2013.
Under the new contract, AECOM will serve as a consultant through the end of 2017, with the option to extend on a year-to-year option afterward. The contract also asserts that any engineering data and information generated by AECOM for the city will become city property once it has been purchased.
Schlosser, the city engineer, said that while the city routinely outsources projects to a number of firms, having a consultant on hand will continue to pay dividends.
"To have a home consultant to go to when we have a special project (would be good)," Schlosser said. "For example, water and wastewater work is very much in their wheelhouse, so we would like to be able to use them for those services."