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New refuse rates, city projects approved by Council

City Council Update

Assistant City Manager Corey Costelloe held a public hearing before asking the City Council to approve the new refuse/recycling rates mandated by SB1383 and the organic recycling program to take effect on July 1.

City Clerk Ashley Whitmore said that the city had received only 20 letters of protest and one letter of support for the measure. While the program began statewide on April 1, the city had received permission to defer the program to July 1. The proposed rate increase for residential customers will be $11.23 per month and would include a third cart for organics to be issued to all residential customers. An updated agreement with Waste Management was also approved as they were still using the old Benz rates.

The City Council approved the contract for the third phase of the Northside Neighborhood Sidewalk Project to be completed on I Street. Development Services Director Jay Schlosser said that funding came from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of approximately $166,500 to be used to improve the residential area north of the railroad tracks. In this round, sidewalk including curb, gutter and handicap ramps will be constructed on I Street between Green and Davis Streets. The HUD grants are awarded every three years. The city’s portion of the project is approximately $30,000 of the $196,500 project and had been included in this year’s city budget.

Also approved was an agreement between the City of Tehachapi and the Tehachapi Unified School District for the widening of Dennison Rd. adjacent to Tehachapi High School. An original agreement was formed in 2000 as part of the development of the THS campus. At that time TUSD asked for a deferment of street projects. With the completion of the Pinon St. extension, the city asked for a completion of the missing improvements. A Transportation Development Grant from the Kern Council of Governments for $241,888 was received by the city in 2023 to help fund the project. The project will be designed and constructed by the city using the TDA funds and funds approved by the TUSD Board of Directors at their March 12 meeting.

A new street sweeper was also approved by City Council as the lease on the existing sweeper expires on June 24. Citing maintenance and repair costs of the existing 2017 sweeper (leased in 2019), Public Works Director Don Marsh, Napier and two others from Public Works formed a committee to choose a new sweeper. This time they chose to purchase a new machine over a lease.

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.