Serving the community since 1922

Center offers relief during extreme heat

When temperatures hit 105 and above, the City of Wasco provides a haven for residents with a cooling center complete with free wi-fi, cold water and snacks. There also is complimentary transportation to and from the center between 1 and 7 p.m. when it is open.

Public Works Director Luis Villa, who helps oversee the center at the Old Court House, said, "Everyone is welcome. Bring board games or books to read and enjoy some cool air."

He added that the center is a benefit to the community. "Some people have the older style units that are typically referred to as swamp coolers. Once temperatures reach anywhere from 95 and above, those are pretty much inefficient."

Residents subscribed to the city system will receive a text and phone call a minimum of two days in advance notifying them that the cooling center will be open. Residents also receive a reminder notification.

Residents can register on the city website,, to subscribe to the city system. Click on the icon "How do I." Then go to "Sign Up For," hit "Alerts and Notifications" and click on the "Subscribing to Notify Me" link. Follow the instructions, fill out the profile information and hit save. Then, scroll down to the calendar section, select the community option and click on how you would like to be notified, by text or email.

No proof of residency or ID is necessary. One must only sign in.

Contact the city clerk's office at 661-758-7215 for more information.

"We're hoping this year that by using our text and phone calls, road signs, and social media, we'll reach more people and get more people to use it," Villa said.

The cooling center opened on June 5, and for Connie Bernal and her husband,Tony, it was their first time there. Connie said they were motivated to come because "it's just the price of air conditioning and utility. We have an AC system, but we only run it two hours a day because it gets expensive, and I budget myself all around."

To keep entertained, she said, "I brought word search, a book great for reading and color patterns and designs."

The cooling center is at 810 8th St. To book a complimentary ride, call 661-758-7222. For more information about the center, contact Cinthia Ugalde at 661-758-7271.


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