Kern County District 2 Park Improvement Projects are moving forward, despite vandalism
From our Supervisor
August 5, 2023
In 2022, Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner announced plans to allocate nearly $8.7 million for park improvements throughout his district.
Funding for the improvements at eight county parks in District 2 will come from several sources. Recently, the County secured $3,023,637 from the Clean California Grant administered by the Department of Transportation for Mojave East Park. The County Administrative Office has also budgeted $1,000,000 from the County's allocation of federal American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding, $300,000 in discretionary park funds, and $991,424 for the renovation of the pool at Jim Williford Park in Rosamond. Additionally, Supervisor Scrivner made the impactful decision to use RENEWBIZ, funds of $3,364,063 within the Eastern Kern economic opportunity zone, to bolster the park improvements within the zone's boundaries.
"I am very pleased to be able to make such a significant investment in my district's parks, which I believe are critical to quality of life, as well as economic development," said Supervisor Scrivner. "Community amenities, like parks, are important considerations for families and businesses when looking to relocate to Kern County."
While these various parks projects continue to move forward, some challenges remain. Supply chain shortages continue to be an issue, as well as project sites being vandalized.
For example, the swimming pool renovation at Jim Williford Park in Rosamond has suffered broken light fixtures, trespassing, and dirt tossed into the pool. Contractors arrived at the job site one morning to find the picnic tables that had been chained to cement pillars at the bottom of the pool.
The remodel of the Boron Park Community Building has also experienced vandalism during construction. Contractors and community members have discovered broken locks and damaged supplies.
"I stopped by one morning to check in on the contractor's progress to find them cleaning up the building after boxes of new flooring had been smashed into pieces. I just don't understand it," said Jerry Gallegos, a resident of Boron.
While these challenges remain, Supervisor Scrivner is committed to completing the following planned park improvements in the Second District in a timely and efficient manner:
• Clean CA Grant ($3,023,637)Mojave East Park - Features include replacement of restroom facilities, creation of a newly paved parking lot to serve the baseball field, a bio-infiltration basin to manage site storm water, new, larger shaded picnic
pavilion, a new soccer field with renovated turf, landscape, and irrigation with emphasis on drought-tolerant, adaptive trees, shrubs and windbreak plantings, exercise stations with equipment, a renovated basketball court, and connected accessible pathways. This project is expected to be complete by June 30, 2024.
• ARPA ($1,000,000)
• Mojave East- Baseball field improvements, Basketball upgrades
• Mojave West- Baseball field improvements, Basketball upgrades
• Ford City Park- Splashpad with covered seating
• Fellows Park- Playground improvements, covered seating
• General Fund ($1,291,424)
• Jim Williford Pool- Pool Facility Upgrades Expected Grand Opening Summer 2023
• Frazier Park- New Playground with new surfacing. (Pending Regional Park Grant)
• Alternate options if grant funding is secured
• Improve little league baseball field fence
• Baseball field scoreboard
• Workout equipment throughout the walking path
• LED Lighting
• Dog Park
• Redesign skate park
• RENEWBIZ ($3,364,063)
• Rosamond Park-Community Building Rehab
• Rosamond Park-Skatepark
• Boron Park- Update Baseball/Lot Lighting
• Boron Park- Update Community Building
• Boron Park- Skatepark
• Boron Park- Dog Park
• Boron Park- Splash pad
Many of these improvements are either under construction, in the design phase, or have been submitted to Kern County's planning department for permitting. Additionally, the community swimming pool at Jim Williford Park in Rosamond project is complete and will open Friday August 8, 2023.
The community building in Boron is also near completion and will be available to the community within the next few weeks. The skate park designs for both Rosamond and Boron skate parks are complete and have moved into the County Planning Department for approvals. The Mojave East Park improvements are still in the design phase with soil studies, with the electrical and drainage surveys complete. This project is expected to be under construction this winter and available for public use in June of 2024.
"We will move forward with these projects despite the challenges and setbacks. I truly hope the residents love the new facilities, take pride in them and enjoy what we've done," said Supervisor Scrivner.
Supervisor Scrivner represents Kern County's Second District, which includes the oil-producing communities of Taft and Maricopa.