From 2009: Unanimous! $5 Million for Pine Mountain Fire Station

Four Years Ago, and Counting…

This story was printed March 27, 2009 by The Mountain Enterprise. In February 2013, four years later, the PMC fire station has still not been built, but the bonds have been sold, and the money is being held by Kern County. Last week we were told by Chief Brian Marshall that the station is being redesigned because the bids came back too high. Meanwhile, the other fire station approved at the same time on Rosedale Highway has been built and is open for service.

By Patric Hedlund with Edie Stafford

Bakersfield, CA, March 24, 2009-Kern County Supervisor Ray Watson made the motion to approve a $115 million public works bond Tuesday, March 24, 2009 which included a $5 million allocation for a fire station for Pine Mountain. The vote was unanimous: Five "ayes" approved.

Edie Stafford of Pine Mountain remembers breaking out in a cheer: "I almost jumped up and ran up there to give them all a hug!"

At least 10 members of the Mountain Communities attended to speak with the panel about the unfulfilled promise made by Kern County 35 years ago to build a firehouse on land donated by the community.

In 2006 the "temporary" converted real estate sales cabin firefighters had been using since the 1970s was condemned. They’ve been leasing a house across the street from their engines for three years. Recently the community donated an additional parcel of land to the county to accommodate a larger fire station that will provide private rooms for three firefighters and other features that will provide community services in a way that retiring Chief Dennis Thompson said will be an innovative model for the Kern County Fire Department.

Supervisor Michael Rubio looked into the crowd during the meeting and said, "I see all our friends from Pine Mountain Club are here," Stafford reports. She wore her Pine Mountain Club T-shirt to make the point. Randy Coleman sprang up to the microphone to speak on behalf of the measure before the tally, but supervisors laughed, indicating they were ready to cast their votes. The affirmative votes were reassuring to the group that included Horst and Connie Baldin, Karen Bailey, Frankie Sanchez, Tim Marvel, Edie Stafford, Roy and Marcy Warkentin, Tona Bowen, Randy Coleman and Deputy Chief Michael Cody.

This is part of the February 15, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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