Fire station, cell service and architects come to Pine Mountain

  • Fire Chief Brian Marshall, District 4 staffer Ryan Schultz and Supervisor Couch stopped by to check on construction progress on Monday, Dec. 23. [photo by David Brust]

    Fire Chief Brian Marshall, District 4 staffer Ryan Schultz and Supervisor Couch stopped by to check on construction progress on Monday, Dec. 23. [photo by David Brust]

By Patric Hedlund

A surge of developments is occurring in the Pine Mountain Community.

Fire Station 58
After 37 years of promises, Kern County’s Fire Station 58 is finally being built just west of Pine Mountain Village on Askin Drive. Residents say they are very pleased to see the progress.

Cell phone service
Meanwhile, the local joke is that the village may soon leap boldly into the 1990s (that’s not a typo). A Verizon cell tower at the top of Linden Drive has been constructed and is being fine-tuned. It will be operational by the middle of this month, establishing mobile phone service to the community for the first time. A coverage map has not yet been issued. No coverage study was required with the granting of the permit this year to build the cellular tower beside the county’s emergency communication tower.

PMC clubhouse evaluation
Then, on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. an architect hired by the property owners’ association will provide an overview of the condition of the Pine Mountain clubhouse. Members and the PMC board are invited to attend the briefing about the condition of the facility.

A strategic planning committee is posing questions about whether a new structure should be designed and built, or whether the existing structure should be updated.
In a related matter, budget workshops will be held by PMCPOA Tuesday, Mar. 4 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 29 at 10 a.m. Board Chair William Gurtner said that members are encouraged to attend.
Budget choices determine whether assessments will rise for those who own property in the Pine Mountain community. Members’ questions often provide insight to staff about priorities.

Changes to Station 58
On Monday, Dec. 23 District 4 Supervisor David Couch and KCFD Chief Brian Marshall met at the construction site to survey construction progress.

In an interview that same day, Kern County Construction Services Division Director Geoffrey Hill spoke of the changes to the original plan.

The interior capacity of the living portion of the station is unchanged, but changes to materials to reduce cost have been made. “We deleted interior stain grade wall finish, wainscoting, and trim, and replaced them with more durable and cost efficient sheet rock. We removed costly interior architectural features such as decorative soffits, arched entries, and other Craftsman-style detailing,” Hill said.

Due to a high water table the building was moved to higher ground toward the south end of the lot. “We reduced the number of plants and trees and the corresponding irrigation systems,” Hill continued. They also reduced the rock in the drainage channels. Asphalt was substituted for concrete in some areas, and the equipment shelter was reduced to two bays instead of three.

Photo captions:

Top left: Roofing is beginning for Station 58 on Askin Drive in Pine Mountain. Above: The footprint for the facility was moved to the south and an elaborate drainage system was built because of the high water table at the site.

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This is part of the January 3, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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