National Police Week, road repair projects, new recreational park and edible food recovery discussed
Tehachapi City Council Update
May 28, 2022
National Police Week
At the City Council meeting held on May 16, Mayor Phil Smith presented a certificate proclaiming May 16-21 National Police Week. Following that presentation, Smith honored Sgt. Amelia Thompson with a Certificate of Recognition for her 15 years of service with the Tehachapi Police Department. Thompson, who has been with the department since 2007, is retiring and moving to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Thompson said if she had it to do over she would still pick Tehachapi, adding that if she could, "I would take everyone here with me." City Manager Greg Garrett said that Sgt. Thompson is just one of the reasons why, "this department is the standard for Kern County."
Road Repair 2022
Development Services Director Jay Schlosser presented the 2022 list of road repair projects in Downtown Tehachapi. Every year the city receives its share of SB1(Gas Tax) funds. These funds can be used only for street and road maintenance and run about $270,000 annually. Schlosser added that the amount may be a bit larger this year due to the increase in gas prices. Areas to be resurfaced in 2022 will be D Street from Mountain View Avenue to Mill Street, E Street from Mountain View Avenue to Pauley Street and from Davis Street to Mojave Street, F Street from Mulberry Street to Curry Street. The list of projects are required to be approved by the City Council and submitted to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) in order to receive the funds. When the projects are completed at the end of the year, the city prepares an annual report to the CTC.
Valley Blvd. Recreational Park
The Clean California Local Grant Program (CCLGP) was created by State Assembly Bill 149 with the goal to reduce trash generation and beautify local streets, tribal land, parks and other public spaces. The City of Tehachapi submitted a grant application for the construction of a neighborhood park on a piece of vacant city property located on Valley Blvd. near Mountain View Avenue. On March 1 they were awarded the grant to complete the project. The City Council adopted a resolution allowing City Manager Garrett to proceed with the project and secure the necessary agreements with the California Department of Transportation. This is just one step in the grant process in order for the city to be reimbursed for funds used in construction of the project.
The 1-acre park is planned to include a 5-A-Side soccer field, play structures, picnic sites, drinking fountains, waste bins and anti-litter signage, benches, lighting, landscaping with shade trees, bicycle racks, shade structures and public parking. Development Services Director Jay Schlosser said the city hopes to have the park open by fall of 2023.
Edible food recovery under way
The State of California Legislature approved an edible food recovery program in 2016 that is to be implemented in 2022. The bill requires that by 2025 California will recover 20% of edible food that would normally go to landfills. Cities throughout the state must establish programs and strengthen food recovery networks, recover the maximum amount of food that would otherwise go to the landfills and keep records of their efforts.
Assistant City Manager Corey Costelloe told the City Council that the City of Tehachapi is partnering with Waste Management and the Salvation Army (who already has a strong edible food recovery program), and other food recovery organizations to ensure Tehachapi's compliance. The state has classified certain large food producing facilities into categories. Tier I generators are now required to be in compliance and Tehachapi has identified Walmart, Albertsons, Save Mart and Dollar General in that category. The Tehachapi Unified School District is listed as a Tier II generator and will be required to comply by 2024. Costelloe said that the Salvation Army already has agreements with all of the Tier l generators and receives weekly donations for distribution to residents in Tehachapi and East Kern County in conjunction with the Community Action Partnership of Kern.
The program is mostly an, "unfunded mandate from the State of California," said Costelloe and it does require city staff time and resources. The city received a $21,000 grant from CalRecycle to assist with the implementation of the program but any remaining cost will be absorbed by the city's refuse and recycling fund.
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.