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Stallion Springs in Danger of Losing its Fire Department

Do you live in Stallion Springs? Are you thinking about moving to Stallion Springs? Do you think having a fire department to serve our community is important?

I can assure you that Stallion Springs is a great place to live. When we first moved here, we considered ourselves lucky to have a part-time fire department during fire season. Times changed, our community grew and after some years the part-time station became full time. According to the Kern County Fire Department website, the Stallion Springs Station 12 serves a 44 square mile area. If you check the map at the KC Fire site, you can see that the Stallion Springs station forms a corner of the triangle that also includes the Bear Valley Springs Station (56 square mile coverage) and the Tehachapi Station (220 square mile coverage).  Despite the fact that the Tehachapi station covers 220 square miles and thus would encompass Stallion Springs and Bear Valley, it’s vitally important to all the local communities that the Stallion Springs Station remain open.

It’s the overlap in coverage that matters both for Stallion Springs and the surrounding communities.  If a fire starts in Stallion Springs, it’s obvious that the Stallion Springs Station would be the first responder.  If the fire warrants, then Bear Valley and Tehachapi Stations may be responding as well.  The same is true if a fire were to start in Tehachapi or Bear Valley — the Stallion Springs Station may be the supporting responding station that allows that fire to be contained quickly enough to minimize damage.

If Stallion Springs loses it’s full-time station, then the response time from Tehachapi could be long enough that significant damage is already done before the first engine arrives in Stallion Springs.  How would you feel if you had to stand and watch a fire burn up to and engulf your home while you wait for half an hour for the Tehachapi fire personnel to arrive?

Do you think that this might affect your insurance rates?  Do you think the distance from a fire station could make your home more difficult to sell?  How do you feel about losing the fire station in Stallion Springs?  I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.  Post comments here or on Facebook.

Don’t stop there.  Contact your local representatives to voice your opinion on this matter.  Call or write to Don Maben (Tehachapi office: 823-0164, Mojave office: 824-7000,  Bakersfield office: 868-3660 email:  Send an email copy to David Aranda, the Stallion Springs General Manager  so he can share with the community how much support we are garnering.

Here’s an example that has already been sent that can give you some ideas of what to write yourself.

Remember that it’s vitally important that Stallion Springs residents let their Kern County representatives know how important it is to keep the Stallion Springs fire station open.

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Water Issues in Stallion Springs

If you live in a city, how often do you think about water?  Where it comes from, how you get it, what’s it cost, etc?  For most people the answer is probably, “not often.”  For most people in Stallion Springs, I bet it’s the same answer.  I know that was true for me up until the last year or so.  I have decided that it is important to k now what’s going on in our community with respect to services provided to us.

One of the best ways to get up to speed on the complexities of managing our community is to attend Board Meetings.  Just so happens there’s one tonight at 7:00 p.m.  In fact, there is a Stallion Springs Board Meeting on the third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the CSD building, 27800 Stallion Springs Drive.

Tonight’s meeting is worth attending because it addresses several water-related issues residents should be aware of.  The Board will be discussing Ordinance 141 and a separate water rate increase.

Ordinance 141 covers avoiding fees proposed by the Tehachapi Cummings County Water District (TCCWD).  Ordinance 141 will be presented and discussed at this evening’s Board Meeting, and voted on at the January 19, 2010 Board Meeting.  The General Manager’s recommendation is to approve Ordinance 141.  Following it’s approval, property owners will need to sign the “Covenant Relating to the Extraction of Ground Water.”  The Covenant will also need to be recorded.  The General Manager will arrange to meet with residents and a notary to execute the Covenant.

This pretty much seems to be a no-brainer. Property owners will execute the Covenant which gives the CSD authority to act as the property owner’s agent with respect to extracting ground water located on their property.  In effect, there is no difference to property owners water delivery pre – or – post Covenant.

The second issue addresses rate increases.   Essentially, water costs are increasing and residents are going to be asked to pay for those costs.  The District wants to implement a policy that will allow future rate increases based on the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers, All Items Index, Western Cities with populations between 50,000 and 1,500,000 (CPI-U) increase for that year.  Confused?

What this boils down to is that, if the Resolution passes, the District can (but does not have to) increase water rates in a percentage no greater than the increase in the CPI-U.  So, there may be no increase, or a percentage increase smaller than or up to the amount of the CPI-U.  The Resolution also states, “Additionally, the Board may not go back in time to recapture previous CPI increases which were not captured by the Board.”  Finally, although the Resolution, if passed, will go into effect immediately, no changes in rates will appear until the May meter read bill.

Be aware that the proposed rate increase does not address replacing any aging infrastructure.  That’s yet another issue.

In my opinion, the District has addressed these issues in a fiscally responsible manner.  That begins with combining the Public Protest Hearing notice with the routine assessment notices in order to save on postage.

Be a part of the community. Get educated about the issues and be part of finding appropriate solutions.  Comments, suggestions, and ideas are welcome.


Great reasons to live in a small town

One of the things I love about living in Stallion Springs in the small town sense of community.  This was brought home yet again while reading the latest issue of Consumer Reports magazine.    Consumer Reports conducted a survey in late September.   They asked 1125 people to rate annoyances on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most annoying.   Hidden fees ranked the highest at 8.9, closely followed by an 8.6 score for inability to reach a human being by telephone.

I was somewhat surprised that comparatively few people were annoyed by fast drivers.  Many more found slow drivers to be an issue.  I’d have to agree with that as far as it goes, but my big annoyance is drivers who are unable to maintain their lane.  Driving is a skill and too many people view it as a chore — something to be gotten through rather than something at which to excel.

Which gets me off my soapbox and back to where I started.  One of the things that I love is that if you call the Stallion Springs Community Services District (SSCSD) office during business hours, you almost invariably get a live answer, no waiting.  As for hidden fees, we don’t have any.  Charges are clearly shown on the water / refuse bills and other fees are paid through the tax bill.  There isn’t any effort to hide anything.

In fact, the best way to stay on top of what’s going on with respect to running the SSCSD is to attend a Board meeting.  They are held the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the CSD office.  Stop by and check it out and get more familiar with Stallion Springs.  See you there!

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Video Interviews

I thought that video interviews would be one fun way to promote Stallion Springs.  They provide an opportunity for people to see what’s so great about living here.  This can be good for people that are thinking about moving here since it gives them a flavor for what life is like here.  It can also serve as a reminder to those of us who have lived here for some time that it’s still a great place to be.

With that in mind, I’ve started posting videos to my YouTube channel.  Yesterday marked the first entry with a short interview at the Stallion Springs General Store.

Today, I spoke with Lucy Gaglione.  She has done an outstanding job of coordinating our Stallion Springs Library.  Did you know that we are the only local community to have a library?  Check back soon for more info in our upcoming video interview.

What kinds of things would you like to see highlighted?  Suggest a business, place with a view, event, etc.  Don’t forget to visit the Stallion Springs Community Facebook page and add photos, events, or comments there as well.

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