City gets another sewer fee increase

City gets another sewer fee increase

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council approved another scheduled sewer fee increase during this week’s regular meeting, bringing the monthly residential fee to $30.60 – more than three times the rate before the city’s 2013 rate study and subsequent Proposition . . . Read Full Story >>

‘People in this basin need to be running the show’

‘People in this basin need to be running the show’

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer In an ad hoc committee meeting, Indian Wells Valley Water District Directors Chuck Griffin and Ron Kicinski drafted a memorandum requesting that the district recommend stronger involvement in staff decisions and circulation of information regarding the IWV Groundwater . . . Read Full Story >>

Schaeffer Fire nearly contained

Schaeffer Fire nearly contained

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Forest roads and trails near Schaeffer Mountain remain closed as the Schaeffer Fire winds down after more than 1,000 firefighting personnel battled it for nearly a month. At press time, the fire is expected to be fully contained . . . Read Full Story >>

Want a piece of history? – City selling vintage street signs

Want a piece of history? – City selling vintage street signs

Are you looking to own a piece of Ridgecrest history?  If so, you can take advantage of the fact that the city of Ridgecrest will be selling obsolete residential street signs for $10 each through Aug. 31. “The blue-and-yellow-colored residential street signs are being replaced with . . . Read Full Story >>

Staheli moves to Water District

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer With last month’s departure of the Indian Wells Valley Water District’s Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Keep, Tyrell Staheli has stepped down from his job as city finance director to fill her position. “We’re very pleased to have him . . . Read Full Story >>

‘It’s valuable that you get the right data’

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer “It’s valuable that you get the right data before you start making critical costly decisions,”said Jacob Vind from the Danish Water Technology Alliance who, along with Max Halkjaer of Denmark’s SkyTEM, gave a presentation on aerial groundwater surveying . . . Read Full Story >>

City OKs  increase in legal fees

City OKs increase in legal fees

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer During its June 21 meeting, the Ridgecrest City Council approved an additional $60,000 for legal services for fiscal year 2016-17. The increase was unanimously approved with the expectation of a large legal bill before the end of the . . . Read Full Story >>

Strand named as interim city manager

Strand named as interim city manager

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to name Police Chief Ron Strand as interim city manager, effective July 1. Strand will fill the role for nine months or until a permanent replacement is found. In March . . . Read Full Story >>

Wildfire on 178 nearly contained

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer More than 600 fire-fighting personnel continue to work through extreme temperatures to contain what is being called the “Highway Fire” along Highway 178 in the Kern River Valley, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The blaze began fewer . . . Read Full Story >>

Stephens calls for public input to help resolve city challenges

By DR. JEANETTE FRANCIS News Review Correspondent The importance of considering new ways to address old challenges facing the city was the common theme in a presentation by Councilwoman Lindsey Stephens at last week’s meeting of the Ridgecrest Republican Women. Since taking the oath of . . . Read Full Story >>

TAB funds — Downs Street or Pinney Pool?

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The city has roughly $1 million left in Tax Allocation Bond funds to allocate to economic development or infrastructure projects. During the last Ridgecrest City Council meeting, council and the public debated the best use of the remaining . . . Read Full Story >>

Water District looks at new fines

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Valley Water District Board of Directors discussed its Water Shortage Contingency Plan on Monday. The board plans to update the plan with Ordinance 101 to comply with California Senate Bill 814. SB 814 went into . . . Read Full Story >>

Breeden calls records requests ‘ridiculous’

Breeden calls records requests ‘ridiculous’

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer During the last few minutes of the May 31 budget hearing, council discussed an uptick in spending on actions relating to local California Public Records Act requests – a practice that Mayor Peggy Breeden called out as unwarranted. . . . Read Full Story >>

Water District board to meet

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Valley Water District Board of Directors meets for its regular meeting on Monday, June 12. Agenda information was not available at press time, but updates are posted on the water district’s website – www.iwvwd.com. Earlier . . . Read Full Story >>

Measure V funds questioned during budget hearings

Measure V funds questioned during budget hearings

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council and staff have spent some 10 hours in public hearings since last week discussing the proposed 2017-18 budget – one they hope to have approved during tonight's regular council meeting. Council and the public . . . Read Full Story >>

City terminates special projects contract

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council agreed to allocate $1,000 to Special Projects Consultant Justin O’Neill along with a 30-day notice of intent to end his contract with the city. The news was not unexpected as O’Neill recently relocated to . . . Read Full Story >>

Splash pad slated for Freedom Park

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer As the city looks toward a high desert summer without the mercy of a public pool, the Ridgecrest City Council may have found a way to beat the heat later this year. Council approved the $750,000 TAB-funded “Free-dom . . . Read Full Story >>

Council discusses budget, Measure L

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council heard two financial presentations during Wednesday night’s meeting – one from the Measure L Citizens’ Oversight Committee, another from City Manager Dennis Speer and Assistant Finance Director Tess Sloan regarding the 2017-18 proposed budget. . . . Read Full Story >>

Waste Management Memorial Day schedule

Waste Management’s curbside trash and recycling pick-up schedule will be delayed by one day throughout the week of May 29, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition, all Waste Management operations will be closed on May 29, with normal operations resuming on May 30. Ridgecrest . . . Read Full Story >>

Is ‘primary water’ on tap for IWV?

Is ‘primary water’ on tap for IWV?

By JEANETTE FRANCIS News Review Correspondent As local authorities continue to consider solutions for managing and sustaining local groundwater in the face of a state designation of water “overdraft,” the quest continues to access an apparently limitless quantity of local, usable water deep inside the . . . Read Full Story >>