Serving the community since 1970

Shafter gets $700k for Covid

Council prepares to close prison

The Shafter City Council approved a resolution that allows the city to receive almost $700,000 in emergency funds for the Covid-19 pandemic. The council also extended its state of local emergency, which enables City Manager Gabriel Gonzales to act if an emergency calls for it.

It also keeps the city open for additional reimbursement for costs as a result of the crisis.

The County of Kern recently received $157 million in funds for the crisis. Shafter's share of the funds came to $698,000.

The council also approved an agreement with Balance Public Relations, whose job will be to protect the City of Shafter's interests during the closing process of the MCCF, which is supposedly going to be closed by the end of 2021, if not sooner. The company is headed by Shafter High Graduate Dean Florez.

The closure of the facility will cost the city an estimated $1.8 million annual loss in revenue. It is not clear what will become of the facility once it is closed.

Also on the agenda was a proposal to raise residential rates by Varner Bros. and American Refuse for the residential areas that they cover, including the Gossamer Grove area. The raise for this coming year will be 2.9%. This does not affect the core city of Shafter -- serviced by the city of Shafter -- except for the commercial businesses.

In other council action, the property at 402 Central was declared as surplus land and not necessary for the city's use, putting the building and parking lot up for sale. Shafter/Wasco Publishing is in the space now, along empty space that housed the former Brookside Deli. Any plans for developing the land must be approved by the city beforehand, according to the council's resolution.


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