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Tehachapi City Council Update

Council approves changes

Residential curbside organics collection

In April 2021, the Tehachapi City Council sent a letter to Sacramento supporting an amendment to SB1383, the law that would require a mandatory residential organics recycling program and a third collection barrel to begin in January 2022. The amendment took into consideration public concern about the hardship of rate increases caused by a third barrel collection at a time of financial burden brought about by COVID-19. The amendment delays penalties for non-compliance until January 2023 and only allows the state to penalize cities that are not making a reasonable effort to comply with the new regulations. Enforcement for noncompliance would not begin until January 2024.

In an effort to show their intention to comply with the state regulations, an ordinance required by CalRecycle was introduced to show the city’s good-faith effort to comply with as many regulations as possible. While the city is not prepared to initiate a three-container recycling system at this time, it does supply the framework for that eventual occurrence. A Notice of Intent to Comply was also approved by the Council.

Council approves purchase of caboose

Friends of the Depot (FOTD), the nonprofit organization that operates the Depot Museum and is responsible for maintaining the railroad history of our town, told the City Council that the Southern Pacific caboose that is located next to the museum and owned by Gold Coast Station, a local train store, is for sale. FOTD has been trying to raise funds to buy it and make it officially part of their collection. Recently, a competing offer had been made for the caboose that would move it out of Tehachapi permanently.

City Manager Greg Garrett said the city would like to donate the $19,000 necessary to complete the purchase of the caboose and ensure that it remains as part of the Depot Museum. FOTD has the funds necessary to restore it to its former glory and will transfer the asset to the city once the purchase is finalized.

The City Council unanimously approved the donation.

Costelloe becomes Assistant City Manager

Corey Costelloe who has been the City of Tehachapi’s Economic Development Coordinator for the last several years was named Assistant City Manager by Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett at the Dec. 20 city council meeting. Garrett also announced that Finance Director Hannah Chung has received a Distinguished Budget award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the third consecutive year. Chung will be retiring in February and Garrett said that the city will announce her replacement at that time.

Public hearing

Development Services Director Jay Schlosser told the City Council that the city will be working with Southern California Edison and the County of Kern to “underground” utilities along Valley Blvd. from Las Colinas St. to Beech St. This conversion has been authorized by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). To complete this project, the city needs to form an Underground Utility District (UUD) to encompass the area from Las Colinas St. to Curry St. The formation of the district requires a public hearing. The City Council approved the public hearing for their January 18 meeting.

The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of the month at 6 p.m. They are currently meeting at the Police Department Community Room, 220 W. C St.