The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

Council focuses on transportation/finance

Tehachapi City Council Update


Robert Ball from Kern Council of Governments presents pedestrian and bicycle projects to City Council.

In a presentation before the Tehachapi City Council on Feb. 5, Robert Ball from the Kern Council of Governments outlined the Kern Region Active Transportation Plan (ATP). He said that with the passage of SB1 last April, KernCOG can expect an increase in funds to fix roads, highways and bridges. The bill would invest $54 billion statewide over the next decade. Ball estimates that Tehachapi could receive as much as $10 million over the next 24 years from SB1 and cap and trade funds.

Ball said that the State has strict rules on how the money can be spent so maintenance projects need to be planned encompassing state guidelines. Last year at Mountain Festival KernCOG had a booth with a survey form containing a list of potential projects to help determine what the public felt would be most important. The resulting report includes pedestrian and bicycle projects and improvements that would be eligible to be funded by the increase in state funds. During the first five years, Tehachapi projects would coincide with the city's current Safe Routes to School initiative.

Finance Director Hannah Chung presented the 2017 Year End Reports prompting a discussion concerning the write-off of past debt of the airport. The airport is a city asset and has been running at a deficit for many years. City resident Michelle Vance said that, "The airport is being subsidized by city residents and needs to be self-supporting." Hanger owner Jim Roberts argued that the airport is still part of the national transportation system and needs to be maintained. Councilman Phil Smith reminded everyone that the purpose of the Event Center was to make the airport solvent and the loss of the grant for the Motocross Track essentially killed the project for the time being. "The FAA encourages non-aviation activities at the airport," said Smith, "we need to get the event center done to generate money to support the airport."


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