Opinion

Wednesday, Apr 09 2014 06:00 AM

A Memo From the City Manager: Improvements aimed at improving quality of life

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Tehachapi City Manager, Greg Garrett.

One of the best things about being the City Manager of this great city is that I have seen the improvements we've made over time and I can be proud that we've delivered projects that I believe, have increased the quality of life for the residents of Tehachapi. What's more, our team is working every day to develop future improvements that I know we will all be proud of as we continue our community's forward progress.

In the last decade, we have designed, funded, and constructed over $20 million in public improvements. These projects have included water, wastewater, storm water, roads, parks, cultural facilities, and more. Each and every one was carefully planned with community input, designed by excellent professionals, and then constructed primarily with grant funds that allow us to stretch our modest City funds into something much greater.

In the past three years alone, our small staff at City Hall has delivered more than $10 million of those projects, including needed improvements to our wastewater treatment facility, the construction of a creatively designed police headquarters that will serve future Tehachapi residents for decades to come, enhancements to the Tehachapi Event Center, and numerous road improvement projects.

I tell you these things both because I'm proud of our accomplishments, but also because I know there is plenty more to do. Despite obtaining more than our share of grant funds for road maintenance projects, our overall asphalt pavement condition is still deteriorating. This is a problem throughout California because of legislative decisions that have diverted funding for roads to other areas. To address this issue, we have catalogued every roadway in the city and measured current pavement conditions. This inventory is now being evaluated to identify roadways where limited funds can be maximized through the appropriate pavement rehabilitation methods.

Statewide drought conditions are also highlighting the need in every California community to reduce potable water demands and in order to create a more sustainable future. Tehachapi is ahead of the power curve with a completed design for a wastewater plant that can produce higher quality recycled water. We have also begun developing a recycled water master plan. Through this process we will create the roadmap to fund and construct recycled water improvements throughout the city.

But it's not just plans that are being developed, we're still building too. This year, we will be completing additional pavement reconstruction on Tehachapi Boulevard, constructing Challenger Drive to connect Capital Hills to Dennison Road, we'll be constructing intersection and pedestrian improvements near Tompkins Elementary, converting potable water uses to recycled or ag water uses and many more. Information about these projects, and an outline of our future plans, are all available on the city website at tehachapicityhall.com.

Thank you as always for your support of our city. With your support, we can continue to deliver great projects and great services that will continue to advance our quality of life. If you ever have any questions or comments regarding anything happening in the City of Tehachapi, I encourage you to call me at (661) 822-2200 or contact me at ggarrett@tehachapicityhall.com.

GREG GARRETT is City Manager for the City of Tehachapi.

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