Mojave, CA – Monday, Nov 27. Construction on a Mojave’s largest municipal infrastructure project in years will begin in January of 2018, according to officials from Kern County. The project includes sidewalks along every street in downtown Mojave, to be joined by 50 solar-powered streetlights installed concurrently along those streets.
The project is the joint venture between Kern County and the Mojave Foundation, with Kern County being responsible for the sidewalk installation and long-term maintenance of the lights, and the Foundation raised $112,000 to purchase the lights from local residents and most businesses operating in Mojave and on the airport. “Our partnership with the Mojave Foundation continues a long track record of Kern County partnering with the private sector and non-profits to improve the safety, health, and quality of life of our residents,” said Zack Scrivner, Kern County Supervisor, Second District. “I applaud the efforts of all involved to bring this needed infrastructure project to completion.”
The Mojave Foundation believes this is the ideal public/private partnership, with local communities as stake-holders in their own municipal investments, and governments contributing to the long-term sustainability of projects. The largest donations for this project came from Terra-Gen Energy, Golden Queen Mine, Northrop Grumman, and the Mojave Marathon, and were made through the Foundation’s 501c3 nonprofit status. 100% of the funds raised over the past three years were directed exclusively to this project.
The lights are provided in partnership with Greenshine New Energy, in Lake Forest, California, who is contributing to support of Mojave’s community development. Greenshine provides municipal lighting to communities all over America, but has taken special interest in the unique aerospace community of Mojave.
The project comes on the heels of another investment by Kern County and local energy companies in the “K-street” project, which brought 20 solar power streetlights and crosswalks to two blocks along K-street.
These investments are designed to stem the rise in pedestrian traffic fatalities as well as stabilize the security situation in our community. Six pedestrians were killed by vehicles since 2013, and three consecutive years of budget cuts have left the Kern County Sheriff’s office with two-thirds fewer deputies in southeast Kern County. There are now about 15 deputies solely in Mojave to cover an area half the size of Connecticut, previously staffed by over 40 deputies in Mojave, Rosamond and Boron. The introduction of Marijuana dispensaries and cultivation has further strained our community, enabled by blighted housing, complicit property-owners, and an eager market. While we cannot fix these public safety problems through law enforcement alone, the least we can do is turn the lights on. Through investments in public infrastructure and targeted recruitment of new storefronts and developers to Mojave, we hope to displace the illicit activity with more sustainable businesses and housing.
About The Mojave Foundation:
The Mojave Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization registered in the state of California dedicated to making Mojave a safe and desirable place to live, work and do business. We do this by raising funds through public and private donors to execute community projects quickly and efficiently. We live and work in Mojave, and are committed to making the community a net asset to the incredible aerospace companies who innovate, fly and test here. We are also committed to environmental and economic sustainability, and believe in lasting public-private partnerships where local stakeholders take responsibility for the future of our community, with critical support from local authorities.
Please tell me you’re not using the same contractor as last time – they tore up the streets at least twice after being ‘finished’.
I can’t comment on the contractor because the County is responsible for that, and I’m not sure which contractor they are using. However, I do know that there are no plans to install crosswalks, which is what tore up the streets this year. The vast majority of sidewalks will not require any road work because the curb & gutter was installed in 2016. I’m also very grateful that we’re getting sidewalks & streetlights – along every street in downtown Mojave – where currently none exist. Every day, about 300+ kids walk home, in the dark, in the middle of the street, because there are no sidewalks or lighting to speak of. We’ve had 6 people killed by cars since 2013. And almost every business downtown has been broken into at least once since that time. I personally think this is most significant investment we have made in public safety and security in decades.
You can’t comment – you could ask the same question as I did to the appropriate agency which you almost certainly know.