Local News

Tuesday, Aug 26 2014 10:30 AM

Tehachapi government round up

Here is a round up of recent news and actions taken by local government agencies:

Bear Valley CSD

Bear Valley Community Services District enacted the second stage of its water emergency plan at the Aug. 14 meeting. In a 4-0 vote (Director Matt VoVilla was absent), the board adopted the policy, which contains mandatory requirements that prohibit potable water from being used to wash down driveways, from being used on grading, cannot be used in public fountains unless recirculated, and restricts use of metered water for construction uses to the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The board adopted the policy with an amendment to delay activation of a 20 percent surcharge for water customers who used more than 1,000 cubic feet per billing cycle.

Bear Valley's general counsel, Don Davis, recommended the district adopt a "wobbler" policy at a future date to allow Bear Valley police discretion in how it enforced water waste. Under the district's ordinance, water waste is considered a misdemeanor crime, while under state law it is considered a finable infraction.

Bear Valley residents have used 12 percent less water since last year, reported public works superintendent Larry Tuma.

Stallion Springs CSD

Stallion Springs Community Services District board of directors enacted its own stage two water emergency on Aug. 19 with a 5-0 vote. General Manager Mary Beth Garrison noted that the provisions of the ordinance follows most other districts: limit lawn irrigation, no hosing down driveways, no washing cars with a potable water hose unless equipped with a shutoff nozzle, no use of potable water for construction and no use of water for fountains unless it is recirculated.

Garrison said her district will continue to educate residents on water conservation and has not enacted a surcharge like some water suppliers have in other parts of the state. She reported that Stallion residents have decreased water amount by 2 million gallons over last year.

Stallion Springs board members also approved the transfer of district funds from Kern County for continued operation of the district. Garrison, in her report, noted that $388,064 has been added to Stallion's reserve capital improvements account, totaling an approximate $1.97 million. Reserves cannot be spent without board approval.

City of Tehachapi

The city of Tehachapi has received a number of grants, according to City Manager Greg Garrett and City Engineer Jay Schlosser.
Schlosser said the city has received approximately $1.3 million to complete a gap in the Valley Boulevard bicycle path from Mulberry Street to South Curry Street. The project will include narrowing portions of the road from Mulberry to Mill Street, insert a class one bicycle path separated from the roadway and include storm drainage projects. The grant comes from California's Active Transportation Program, and requires no local match. The application was part of a larger $9.5 million packet the city submitted to the state.

Tehachapi Airport has received $190,384 from the Federal Aviation Administration for environmental assessment of a $2.269 million project to repair and relocate the main taxiway, runway improvements and installation of a 3,400-foot, 18-inch storm drain system.

Tehachapi city council approved at its Aug. 18 a bid the city's bicycle master plan, which will include extension of Class II and Class III bike paths on Mulberry street, Mill Street, Curry Street and E Street. The entire project is expected to cost $160,000, paid for by a Transportation Development Act.

The council also approved the transfer of approximately $2.14 million in unspent redevelopment bond proceeds from the Successor Agency to the Tehachapi Redevelopment Agency to city control. The proceeds are earmarked for specific uses under state law and bond agreement, and can only be spent within the old RDA boundaries, which includes most of downtown. The list of proposed projects includes the development of Freedom Plaza and the Tehachapi Visitor Center at 200 West Tehachapi Boulevard, for which the plan was approved by the council on Aug. 4; the extension of Industrial Parkway from Curry Street to Green Street and the airport; construction of a multi-modal path running parallel to the railroad tracks and Tehachapi Boulevard from Mill Street to Willow Springs Road; and construction of a community park at Valley Boulevard and Mountain View Avenue.

Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District

The water district's board of directors approved the dedication of a bicycle/pedestrian easement on Antelope Dam to the city of Tehachapi. The easement dedication amends a master plan the district has with the city, and will allow the city to move forward with the paving of a portion of the Antelope Run bicycle path. The path connects Alta Estate to Tucker Road, and would allow pedestrians to bypass the use of surface streets when using the entire path. The city is paying for the paving project with a grant.

Also approved was a labor compliance agreement with Richard Perez a specialist regarding the district's direct toilet install program. The water district is a sub-recipient of a major grant administered by the Kern County Water Agency. A labor compliance agreement is required as part of the grant to ensure state laws are followed. General Manager John Martin said Perez comes recommended from Provost&Pritchard, the company who handled the initial grant. Perez will be paid $75 an hour for a maximum of $30 hours per month, or $2,250 per month. The grant budgets $7,00 for labor compliance.

The district board also approved the final budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Martin noted some changes had been added which will favor the upcoming year financially:
• $14,000 has been added to district revenue because of vehicle trade-ins, property tax revenue has increased by $15,000 based on increased value of assessed value by Kern County.
• Health insurance budget has reduced by $17,100 because rates will not increase as much as forecast.
• $10,000 has been budgeted to celebrate the water district's 50th anniversary on March 10, 2015 (plans are in progress).
• Natural gas budget has been reduced by $50,00 because of an additional fixed price contract for 2015.
• Removal of $38,000 for engine replacements to an engine at a pumping plant because of emission regulation complications and a bad quote from a suppler.
• $45,000 has been added to replace a 2009 Ford pickup that has given the district nothing but trouble. The cab and chassis will be purchased, and modified with a currently-owned service bed and crane.
Some funds are being rolled over from the previous years for projects that aren't yet complete:
• $170,000 for refurbishment of old agriculture wells to increase the district's water recovery capacity.
• $130,000 for the Cummings Basin groundwater model update has been carried over. The project remains only 17 percent complete as of June 30.

Overall, changes to the budget show greater revenue of $202,400 and increased expenditures of $269,900.

Golden Hills CSD

Directors from Golden Hills Community Services District postponed approving the budget for the 2014-2015 year, feeling that it was not properly announced to the public. The budget will be presented on Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at 21415 Reeves St.

The proposed budget, available in draft form at the meeting, shows the district plans to spend $2.91 million and estimates $3.02 million in revenue over the next 12 months. Revenue will come mostly from water sales and services revenues, at $2.18 million, followed by project revenues at $356,176 and $342,900 derived from property taxes.

The board also approved a conceptual site plan for Meadowbrook Park, a necessary requirement before Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District can move forward with improvements. While the parks district owns Meadowbrook Park, a 1986 agreement parks district noted all design plans first had to meet approval from the Golden Hills CSD board of directors.

TVRPD board chair Gayle Stewart, in presenting the conceptual, said that playground equipment is in her district's possession and an request for proposal for engineering and construction is the next step. Stewart stressed that the plan for Meadowbrook is conceptual and to trust the parks district that it would make changes to it as benefited the residents who use it.

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