By Patric Hedlund
On Tuesday, March 24 the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to issue bond debt for $115 million. Tucked into a very small corner of the shopping list was $5 million to finally build the firehouse for which Pine Mountain has been waiting for 35 years.
Land has been donated to the county from the property owners association since the 1970s. Recently, additional land was donated to confirm the planned new station will have adequate space. A 1970s-era converted real estate sales cabin was used to house two firefighters, a business office, a kitchen and a bathroom It was condemned three years ago. Now there is an additional firefighter and a paramedic program, but no firehouse. The firefighters have been living in leased quarters across the street from their trucks.
The $115 million bond will also expand transportation corridors throughout the Bakersfield area, build a technology center for the county as well as provide money to build two firehouses—one on Rosedale Highway and the one in Pine Mountain.
The county is said to have received an A+ rating for these bonds. Contractors are reportedly responding with highly competitive low bids for the construction—both incentives to move forward at this time. Watson said the first payments on the bonds will not begin for two years, giving a grace period while an economic rebound is getting underway.
This is part of the March 20, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.