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City to share in County Coronavirus relief

Tehachapi City Council Update

As a result of the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) the County of Kern has received $2 million of California’s allocation from the Coronavirus Relief Fund which was created to provide financial assistance to state and local governments. Based on population, 10 cities in Kern County qualify for reimbursement of expenses that (a) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency created by COVID-19, (b) were not budgeted by the state or city as of March 27, 2020 and (c) were incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020. Tehachapi’s allocation is up to and including $456,777.

The funds are to be used for reimbursement of expenses related to the virus and public health including personal protective equipment (PPP), telecommuting, sanitizing, public health order enforcement and eligible payroll expenses. According to City Manager Greg Garrett, City staff have already identified a need for $355,000 based on current estimates. He said the City has furloughed some employees who could possibly return to work. The funds would also be used to purchase laptop computers for other employees who continue to work from home. Some funds could also go to an increase in police staffing.

In a unanimous vote at their June 15 City Council meeting, the Council voted to approve an agreement with the County to participate in the program.

Summit re-pavement project

At the March 4 City Council meeting, Granite Construction was awarded the bid for resurfacing of the roadway surrounding Love’s Truck Stop. The project was to be funded by a grant from the Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) in the amount of $334,880 with a match from the City Streets and Roads Fund of $43,388. Granite’s bid approved by the Council was $317,665.

It appeared that the condition of the intersection of Tehachapi Blvd. and Monolith St. was worse than expected and had deteriorated since the project was conceived. At the June 15 Council meeting, Development Services Director Jay Schlosser requested and was granted Council approval for using up to the full amount of the grant if necessary to complete the project as conceived.

Councilwoman Pogon-Cord asked about the islands created at the railroad crossings at Green St., Hayes St. and Denison. Schlosser explained the City was trying to complete their part of the project before Union Pacific began working on the crossings. As a result, the islands, which would normally be done last, were done early creating confusion for some drivers.

Councilman Phil Smith asked about lane striping on Tehachapi Blvd. by Steuber Rd. stating that lack of lines was causing confusion for cars and trucks positioning to make turns in the area. The matter will be taken up by the Traffic Control Committee, which is made up of Development Services Director Schlosser, Police Chief Kent Kroeger, Public Works Director Don Marsh and City Manager Greg Garrett.

Per the State of California Executive Order N-29-20, this meeting was held telephonically. City Council meetings may be observed (or heard) online at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh0HOSFazMT27ynDXhkUQ0A.