CALIFORNIA CITY – The California City Council is investigating having a police and fire department substation near the new West Way Transit Station.
Police Services Commander Jimmy Rubio outlined the proposal at last Tuesday’s Council meeting. The plan would entail moving a prefabricated trailer from Borax Bill Park to an adjacent City property near the transit station.
“This would be a joint effort with both the police and fire departments,” Rubio said. “It would expand public safety and community awareness for citizens who reside in the Wonder Acres Community. It also would assist visitors who travel the 14 Freeway.”
Rubio said the project could be done for minimal costs with existing resources and equipment, and if a grant could be secured. The cost would be about $27,000, with the bulk coming from a possible Prop 1B Transit Safety Grant. The trailer originally was acquired at no cost to the City from military surplus.
“Once the trailer is in place with utilities and sanitation, the building would be outfitted with office space and quarters for police, fire and volunteer personnel,” Rubio said. “There would be phone line to the City’s 911 Communications Center. It also could house fire apparatus to support the area in the event of a fire.”
Rubio said the substation would provide a number of benefits to the Wonder Acres area as well as create a positive police and fire presence to the area. It also could become an “Information Center” for travelers to obtain information about California City and the OHV areas.
“This would be a tremendous benefit to our citizens and to those who visit,” Rubio said.
The Commander said he would gather more information on possible grant money and report back to the Council on his findings.
In other business, Fire Chief Jeff Armstrong reported that during the month of October, he and staff are visiting all the schools in Cal City.
“We will be talking about fire prevention and other related items,” he said. “We also are inviting classes from the high school to have lunch with us at the station and give them tours of our facilities.”
He also said he has been invited to a careers day at CCHS sometime in November.
City Manager Tom Weil reported that the California City Corrections Center run by the Correctional Corporation of America has signed a contract with the State for the facility to be used to house prisoners. CCA would take prisoners slated for early released because of the overcrowding in State facilities instead of having them out in the general population.
CCA prison had an agreement with the Federal government to house detainees from the U.S. Marshal and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. California City had received 50 cents per detainee, per day under a 2010 agreement. The numbers for those prisoners has been around 900 to 1,200 since the agreement was established. The prison also has some 330 employees. The City could lose that funding, but could gain with additional employees being hired at the facility. That could lead to more housing being occupied along with more spending on goods in the City.
“We are having conversations with the State and CCA as to what our involvement might still be,” Weil said.