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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

City receives $5M grant to repair Shafter Aquatic Center


Last updated 3/6/2022 at 5:25am | View PDF

The city was successfully awarded a Clean California grant for almost $5 million with part of the money earmarked for repairing the Shafter Aquatic Center, Public Works Director Michael James reported to the City Council.

Included in the projects earmarked for this money is the improvements needed to get the Shafter Aquatic Center open, possibly as early as the beginning of next year.

In other news, the city also received over $130,000 in monies from KernCOG in their Clean Air project programs.

At its recent meeting, the City Council approved a resolution that addresses the public transit needs of the community, especially regarding the city’s Dial a Ride program.

A presentation was made to the council showing how many people utilized the program.

The report showed that the pandemic drastically impacted the usage of the program. In 2018 and 2019, there was a monthly average of 1,300 riders, with the numbers dropping to a little over 400 riders monthly in 2020 and 2021.

Irene Montoya, of GROW Academy, spoke to the council about the need the school had for the Dial a Ride program, with students using the system on a regular basis. She also said at times they were having to wait for 30 minutes or an hour for the student to be picked up, with either drivers at lunch or short staffed that day. She recommended that the city look at the program for any way to improve the efficiency of the program.

“We appreciate the Dial a Ride program and definitely think that there is a need in the community for it,” said Montoya.

The council approved Resolution 2890 was approved, allowing the city to receive federal grant money that will help subsidize the operations of the Dial a Ride program. The program annually loses money, but the costs are subsidized by these grants.

The council also approved Tract Number 2880, the last phase that will be going up in the Gossamer Grove area. This phase will include 95 acres of land that will be broken up into 345 single-family residential lots. This phase will be moving forward and building will be started in the near future.

The council also approved a Bus Stop at Stringham Park, freeing up space in the area around the City Hall. This plan was approved by the county and is cleared to move forward to open up the bidding process.


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