Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

No Amtrak after HSR begins, state says

 


The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority plans to discontinue Amtrak service in Wasco once high-speed rail begins service, City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez told the City Council.

“I don’t like it that Amtrak is leaving,” Mayor Pro Tem Danny Espitia said.

Council member John Pallares agreed.

The High-Speed Rail will temporarily stop between Wasco and Shafter on Poplar Avenue off Highway 43 until the track is completed to Bakersfield.

“The state doesn’t want to pay for both HSR and Amtrak,” Mayor Tilo Cortez said.

The city and the HSR were negotiating to determine who would maintain the Wasco Amtrak platform. The city didn’t want to be responsible for maintaining it, and the High-Speed Rail can’t own the property the platform is on and says they can’t maintain what they don’t own.

Once the HSR is up and running, Cortez said, Amtrak stops in Wasco, Delano and Hanford will cease.

In other council business, resident Orquidea Ocampo asked the council members what was going to be done with the bare spots where trees were taken out on 7th Street.

“We haven’t reached a decision on that, yet,” Cortez said. “The city is looking into putting artificial turf in the green belts around housing developments in the city.”

Additionally, PG&E doesn’t want to keep the power on at the old farm labor camp; however, lights are still on at the remaining occupied units.

“I’m happy to report nothing dangerous took place Friday night,” Kern County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Peter Martinez said. “There were no instances of violence; however, we did cite some people for illegal fireworks.”

 

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