Construction of new path will connect walking path to downtown

A Bakersfield firm was awarded the bid to a new section of path to connect Rails to Rails with the Fifth Street Plaza.

Cen Cal Construction of Bakersfield was the low responsible bidder, Taft's city engineer determined, out of six firms that bid on the project.

Cen Cal's bid of $112,630 for construction was more than $36,000 lower than the closest bid.

The total cost, including the 20 percent management fee and a 10 percent contingency, is $148,671.

The main part of the project is construction of a new section of walking, biking and jogging path that runs south from Main Street at the Fifth Street Plaza through a strip of land the city obtained in a land swap and connect with the main east-west pathway about midway between Fourth and Sixth streets. The project also includes reconstruction of two crosswalks to handicapped-accessible curb ramps.

When completed, it will provide a safe, convenient connection between Rails to Trails and the downtown.
Most of the cost of the project will be covered through Federal Transportation Development Act funds and the city will pay less than 20 percent of the cost ― about $28,000.

A construction schedule has not yet been completed, but once it starts, work should be done in three weeks.

In other business at Tuesday night's meeting, the Council:
•Approved a payment to the Taft Chamber of Commerce of $11,316.84. As its share of transient occupancy taxes collected from local hotels and motels in the second quarter. Under an agreement between the City and Chamber, the Chamber receives 25 percent of the TOT tax collected by the City.

• Voted to declare five old police cars "obsolete, unsafe and uneconomical to repair" and sell them. The cars, all 2005 Crown Victoria police interceptors, have been replaced by SUVs and have from 75,000 thousand miles to 85,000 miles each. They will be sold an online auction through Public Surplus. Information on the online auction and the web address will be placed in the newspaper for the public who are interested in bidding.