TVRPD and airport among Council topics
Tehachapi City Council Update
It was standing room only at the Police Department Community Room the evening of March 19 when TVRPD Board Chairman Laura Lynne Wyatt and General Manager Michelle Vance presented their concept for the development of a new multi-use community center and for upgrading Recreation and Parks District's existing facilities. They asked the City to support them in their efforts to research and place a bond measure on the November ballot to finance the project.
Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District completed a master plan in 2013 to assist in planning for the future growth and needs of the community. One of the primary outcomes of the survey taken at that time was the overwhelming evidence of the importance of the TVRPD services and facilities, both recreational and educational, to youth, adults and active seniors in the community. The survey also showed that 80% of the respondents would be willing to pay for the facilities.
TVRPD envisions the new center with an indoor pool, a lap pool and kiddie pool. It could also include a recreation center with indoor running track. A large conference center with a commercial kitchen is planned that can be used for special events and public meetings at little or no cost to local groups. Such a facility could also attract conferences from outside the city that would also boost hotel and restaurant revenue.
Wyatt and Vance asked the City Council to approve a $15,000 investment in the development of a plan to build a new aquatics, recreation and conference center and upgrade existing TVRPD facilities. The money would go toward project design, public surveys and bond development.
The only voice of contention at the meeting was from Michael Bigley who said he would not vote for any such bond. A woman in the audience asked him if he had kids and he admitted that his kids were grown. It is also noted that Bigley plans to run for County Supervisor against current Supervisor Zack Scrivner.
The City Council voted unanimously to invest in the project.
The Tehachapi Society of Pilots and the Hanger Owners Association have asked at the last few Council meetings for the City to appoint an Airport Manager to deal with airport problems and FAA requests and to keep the airport groups informed. City Manager Greg Garrett appointed Ashley Whitmore as the official Airport Manager.
In her first report to the Council, Whitmore outlined follow-up actions being taken to fulfill requests outlined in a letter to the City by the FAA. She also thanked Tehachapi pilot Joe Biviano for reporting problems with the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI). As a result, the FAA has recommended that it not be used.
A new email and telephone number have been set up for airport tenants. They are encouraged to contact Ashley at email@example.com or (661) 822-2200, ext. 133 with questions or to set up an appointment.
The City Council unanimously approved a program to complete a curb and sidewalk on the south side of Cherry Lane, closing the pedestrian gaps that currently exist between Tucker and Curry. Development Services Director Jay Schlosser said that the project is part of the Safe Routes to School program and is for the safety of the large number of children traveling from Tucker along Cherry to Tompkins Elementary School. He added that it is the expected funds from SB1 that will make the project possible.
Schlosser also reported that the City is proposing to construct a bike path connecting Highline Rd. to the existing Antelope Run bike path and adding the construction of a parking lot with eight to ten stalls at the Tucker Rd. entrance to Antelope Run. The Council readily approved the project.
Walmart requested permission from the City to conduct off-site liquor, beer and wine sales and to be able to provide instructional tastings of beer and wine. According to a 1994 law, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is precluded from issuing a liquor license in an existing over-concentrated census tract without the permission of local government. The tract on which Walmart intends to build meets the over-concentration criteria. The request was unanimously granted by the Council. Jay Schlosser said that Walmart is expected to break ground any time with a completion date of February or March of 2019.