Frustrated by increased costs, the city of Tehachapi plans to study alternatives to using the Kern County Fire Department in the future, including the potential of establishing a municipal fire department.
At its meeting Monday, Nov. 15, the City Council voted 4-0 (with Mayor Pro Tem Michael Davies absent) to approve a new Fire Services Contract with the county with a substantially higher cost than the current contract.
But the council also voted to establish a committee made up of Mayor Phil Smith and Davies to explore other options. Corey Costelloe, assistant to the city manager, presented the proposed contract to the council, along with background.
In July 2020, he said, the city learned that the county had commissioned a study of fire rates for contract cities, including Tehachapi. He said the study produced by the economic development firm Natelson Dale Group used call volume to determine a cost of service to serve cities.