The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

New signage, lights For La Colonia

 

February 7, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

This arrow sign will let motorists know of the T intersection.

Residents have voiced a need of some major clean up in the outlying areas of Shafter, including La Colonia. The need was brought to Supervisor David Couch's office by Gary Rodriguez and Dora Hernandez, and the resulting project has made significant progress, according to the supervisor's representative, Mark Salvaggio.

There is still a boat and some debris on a property that was once utilized by the private water company serving the area until two years ago, and an illegal dumping case has been opened regarding the matter. It is being monitored and according to Salvaggio, they will be able to proceed after a 30-day waiting period, which will be up on Feb. 17.

In the meantime, numerous projects have been completed in the area. Resident Ben Fast called a problem to the attention of Couch's office regarding the T- intersection at 7th Standard Road and Shafter Avenue. There have been numerous accidents at the location, with motorists running the stop sign and ending up in the vineyards. David Couch's field representative, Zack Wakefiel,d helped get a large two-directional arrow and yellow marker sign installed at the location, letting motorists know of the upcoming T intersection.

In addition to this issue, the litter and overgrown vegetation in a sump at Mannel Avenue and Burbank Street has been removed. The gutters with mud also have been shoveled and removed, with the work contracted to American Refuse. A request for paving the alley at Martinez and Rodriguez streets is now in the advanced planning stage to review feasibility and evaluation of requested projected costs.

There also has been a stop sign installed on Burbank Street and a "nameless" road. Couch's representative have met with the adjacent property owner of the field next to the road and were given three potential names to give the Planning Commission for consideration.

In the La Colonia area, residents now have streets lights, after PG&E installed LED lights two weeks ago. A county engineering technician confirmed that La Colonia's lighting is now up to county standards. They are also installing additional lights on existing poles, but the affected owners must grant the County permission to do so.

At the Elementary School bus stop in the area, there is need of a canopy or cover to be installed. Supervisor Couch's office is urging the residents of the are to attend the next Richland School Board meeting to make public comments asking the Board of Trustees to proceed with the construction of a bus stop canopy for the school children. Supervisor Couch's office has sent numerous emails to the superintendent's office, but according to Salvaggio, "Superintendent Dago Garcia is reluctant to proceed without his school board giving him direction to do so."

"We have no authority over school districts," he said. "The good news is the principal of Shafter High, Russell Shipley, has responded to our request for a bus stop canopy near the sump for the high school students. Shipley has passed on the request to the [Kern High School] district office."

There is still continuation of work on the South Shafter Sewer Project for Cherokee Strip, Smith's Corner and the communities along Burbank Avenue and Riverside Street. A federal grant of $10 million for the planning, design and construction of the main sewer line in the South Shafter Mexican Colony. An additional $3-million grant application will be submitted for the connection to the individual residences to the main sewer line.

A four-day Bulky Waste Pickup event for the residents of the La Colonia is being planned for March. The planning for the event is under way, with Supervisor Couch's office working with American Refuse on the project. This event will allow residents to dispose of a variety of bulky items, such as appliances, furniture and other items free of charge.

 

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