March 14, 2017
Rosamond again getting substation
ROSAMOND - After more than six months without a Kern County Sheriff's substation in their unincorporated community, residents of Rosamond will soon find law enforcement services at a familiar place: the Rosamond Community Services District offices.
The county and district are finalizing a five-year lease for space within the administrative offices at 3179 35th St. West. Approval of the agreement by the district governing board still is required.
"It looks like it's going to be a really nice setup," said Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, whose 2nd District includes Rosamond and other communities in the eastern reaches of the county.
"I appreciate the cooperation of the community services district. It's nice when government agencies can help each other," he said.
The agreement with the community services district comes with a much more favorable price tag for the county, at $700 per month instead of the $8,000 the county was paying previously, Scrivner said.
The community services district has surplus office space that once held its engineering department in the back of the administrative offices, as well as space in the public lobby area up front where residents may meet with Sheriff's department personnel, RCSD General Manager Ron Smith said.
The counter area in the lobby, where district customers pay bills, open accounts and the like, already was slated to have safety glass installed, he said. The counter area will have three windows, two for community services district business and one for the Sheriff's department.
Additionally, the office has a secured parking area, and a locked storage area for evidence will be installed.
The substation function should be ready for business within about 30 days.
"It's great for the community. Partnering together, that's what it's all about," Smith said.
The addition of a sheriff's substation adds to what is becoming a community center along 35th Street West just north of Rosamond Boulevard, with the Wanda Kirk branch of the Kern County Library and a fire station as well.
The Rosamond substation was closed Aug. 31 as the county sought a less expensive space to lease, part of coping with the county's ongoing fiscal crisis thanks to plummeting oil prices which reduced the county's property tax revenues from its oil and gas fields.
Faced with a 5% budget cut this fiscal year, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood originally planned to close the Rosamond substation completely, spreading patrol duties for the community to Mojave.
However, during final budget negotiations in August, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $1.5 million taken from reserves to be used for operating costs.
The additional funding, coupled with a less-expensive location, was expected to preserve the Rosamond substation, among other department activities.
As the county was searching for a new location about four months ago, Smith approached the county with the idea of converting the unused space at the district offices. The idea bounced around during the location search, with details for leasing the district office space hammered out in the last week or so.
Without the substation, Rosamond has had the same number of deputies patrolling the community, but they were instead based at the Mojave substation 16 miles away.
Rosamond residents who need a report or similar service also have to travel to the Mojave substation. Those services will return when the new location is opened.