New information on the $43 million Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District bond measure, a review of the proposed facility and thoughts from residents of the Golden Hills Community Services District were shared at a recent district board meeting.

“We want the best recreation possible,” district manager Michelle Vance said. She added, “We are giving the community the opportunity to say whether recreation is relevant, or we let our facilities fall into disrepair."

Vance said that one of the cost recovery goals is to have 1,400 families per year sign up for an annual pass for a 92 percent cost recovery rate. Monthly membership fees would range from $16 to $63 for residents within the district, depending on whether one buys a single membership or buys for a family of six. There would also be options to pay for single visits. The estimated yearly pass for a family would be more than $750 per year. 

Currently, a family of four is paying $200 per month for recreational swimming, Vance said. The yearly funds generated from admissions for annual passes alone would come to more than $698,000, and was also based on the 2017 starting median income of $54,208, according to agenda documents.

Activities for various age groups and interests would be at the proposed $25 million facility and district employees could be at one location, instead of various areas, Vance said.

“We want to be sustainable and don’t want to end up like in the past," she said.

The annual pass would include a teen center, fitness aerobics classes, lap and recreation swim, child care for up to 2 hours, workout equipment and indoor walk programs.

It would not include swim lessons, boot camps, adult and youth leagues, camps, party packages or space rentals. There would be a discount for residents holding memberships to use these activities. 

The bond measure, labeled Measure R, was received by Kern County Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters in the Elections Office on Aug. 6.

The abbreviated ballot measure said Measure R is “to improve parks and recreation for children, families and senior citizens, upgrade and renovate outdated parks build new restrooms, construct a community, aquatic and senior center, shall Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District issue $43 million of bonds at legal rates raising on average $2,400,000 annually as long as bonds are outstanding at a yearly rate of approximately $0.039 per $100 of assessed value.”

It added, “The final cost of each project will be determined as plans and construction documents are finalized, construction bids are received, construction contracts are awarded and projects are completed.”

Golden Hills residents

Information was also discussed about the possibility of Golden Hills Community Services District removing its properties from the park district boundaries. Vance said that more than $150,000 from property taxes are received from the from properties within the district. 

Bond measure impacts on GHCSD residents, review of the goals and and questions from the public were discussed for informational purposes only at the GHCSD Aug. 16 regular board meeting. 

Even though removing GHCSD from the park district boundaries was not on the agenda, if residents wanted this option it would involve a lengthy two-year process and requires multiple public meetings and an application to the Local Agency Formation Commission, a Kern County committee to help with annexations, said Susan Wells, district manager for GHCSD. 

Wells said, “It is not appropriate for the GHCSD Board to take an official position in favor of, or opposition to, the TVRPD bond issue. Board members are entitled to their individual positions — in favor or against — but the board as a whole will not be taking an official position.”

GHCSD board members opened the discussion to the public. Many people said  said they wanted more information as to potential negative and positive effects of the bond, if GHCSD could remove their district from park district boundaries and the price of bonds if the economy fluctuated.

There will be a special meeting Aug. 30 at the GHCSD board room to discuss the bond measure further.