Finally, getting back to normal
From the City Manager
April 24, 2021
As we pursue a sense of normalcy, our business at City Hall continues down that road with all the expected highs and lows. Whether that work involves taking a state agency to task over unfulfilled promises, or finding ways to invest in our quality of life, we remain steadfast in our commitment.
Many of you caught our response to the latest environmental documents for the California High Speed Rail project and the section of track scheduled to come through Tehachapi. This has been a reality for several years, so while many felt like they were just now learning about it, the contrary is true. While the project will have a big impact on our entire community, "make it go away" simply is not an option. The state goes where it pleases, and construction is already underway.
Our disappointment came in the lack of proposed mitigation to the noise impact this train will have on our community. Project or not, it is our job to go to bat for our residents when we see them being short-changed. Environmental impact reports are a requirement to properly mitigate impacts. We feel the noise, especially for residents in Arabian Estates north of Highway 58 is not being mitigated correctly. HSR wants to hear more about our concerns, so stay tuned for our changes to their proposal. Tehachapi does not have a station planned yet, and the train will simply pass through. We want to make sure they do the right thing as best we can.
On the economic front, Tehachapi certainly took a few hits during the last 13 months, but we continue to see investment, new construction, new businesses and renovations. We successfully completed our "Small Business Loyalty Program" after redeeming over $50,000 in purchases from local businesses in exchange for $20 gift cards to our local eateries. We received donations from community members and businesses, and nearly made it to the end of March before funding was exhausted. This small gesture was a great way to interact with local business owners and let them know we are here to help them recover from the odd year that was 2020.
I join many of you in the excitement of what is to come as events return to our community. The City of Tehachapi will be bringing back the All-American 4th of July Festival this year. We will scale down some events, but community favorites like the All-American 5k, the Ed Grimes Memorial Pancake Breakfast, Wall of Valor, food vendors and live music will return to Philip Marx Central Park. We give special thanks to AES Clean Energy, formerly known as S Power and Waste Management, for their sponsorship of events, culminating with our fireworks show at 9 p.m. from Tehachapi Municipal Airport. Other events this spring and summer are in the planning stages and we welcome them back to Tehachapi after a long absence.
I would like to mention Earth Day took place on April 22. We had several community groups reach out to the City regarding activities and we supported them all. Earth Day encourages people to consider things like litter removal and quality of life, but these are actions we should take every day. Trash is picked up actively and the streets are swept and clean by our public works crews daily. Earth Day is a nice reminder for how we should live, and I believe this city takes those regards seriously in our daily business as we strive for a cleaner, healthier community.
Thanks for reading these updates, and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at [email protected]