Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

State of the City presented at Chamber lunch


March 2, 2024

Pat Doody.

New Chamber Board members. From left - John Knight (Knight Building Services), Kristy Vasquez (Valley Strong Credit Union), Mitchell Abrego (1st Priority Auto Registration) and Julia Pence (6 Pence Bookkeeping).

The first Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce meeting of 2024 was held on Feb. 20 at PDubs Mountain Bowling in Old Town.

Following the fajita buffet, President Clare Scotti introduced the four new members of the chamber board. They are John Knight (Knight Building Services), Kristy Vasquez (Valley Strong Credit Union), Mitchell Abrego (1st Priority Auto Registration) and Julia Pence (6 Pence Bookkeeping).

The program was provided by the City of Tehachapi. Before introducing the department heads, City Manager Greg Garrett gave a brief preface saying that the City of Tehachapi has a $1 billion infrastructure. Each department head gave a brief overview of plans for 2024.

Police Chief Richard Standridge said the department had been able to use Measure S funds to add officers to the TPD and purchase Flock cameras used to capture license plate numbers of retail theft suspects. These cameras have had an impact on commercial theft this year.

Measure S funds were used by Public Works in the ongoing repaving projects throughout the city said Director Don Marsh. The city completed about 19 miles of paving in 2023. A new AI technology is being used in a camera that is attached to the city street sweeper that will report potholes that need attention. New upgraded sprinkler heads have been installed to city watering systems that shut off automatically in case of rain or malfunction.

Development Services Director Jay Schlosser pointed to the completion of the Pinon Street extension to Dennison Road and the paving of Valley Blvd. from Curry Street to Mountain View. Schlosser added that the remainder of Valley from Mountain View to Tucker Road is planned for 2024. The city has $23 million in projects planned for 2024 that include the undergrounding of power poles on Valley Blvd. The department will also be updating the city codes to keep up with the massive new state regulations for 2024.

Pat Doody.

City of Tehachapi department heads. From left - Corey Costelloe, Don Marsh, Jay Schlosser, Police Chief Richard Standridge and Key Budge.

Assistant City Manager Corey Costelloe said the city is actively trying to attract new businesses. A sign grant is also available that will reimburse city businesses for 50% of the cost for new signs. Costelloe also talked about new pickleball courts to be constructed next to the Tehachapi Police Department, and that Valley Park will be opening this spring.

Community Engagement Manager Key Budge introduced Mya Acosta, the newest addition to the department and said that the city was already working on plans for events like Farmers Market and Hometown Christmas.

City Manager Garrett ended the program by mentioning that CalTrans is in the process of building a $20 million maintenance station that will be located on Industrial Parkway behind Tractor Supply and should be operational by the summer of 2026, about the time that work should begin on the Highway 58 truck-climbing lanes.


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