Cal City due to re­pair fail­ing elec­tric box switch

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS - By AL­LI­SON GATLIN Val­ley Press Staff Writer [email protected]­press.com

CAL­I­FOR­NIA CITY — The city will make emergency re­pairs to an elec­tri­cal switch box that has de­te­ri­o­rated to the point where South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son has said it will no longer pro­vide power to it if it is not fixed.

The funds for this emergency re­pair, how­ever, will come from a fa­cil­i­ties fund that had been des­ig­nated for re­mov­ing as­bestos floor­ing and con­struct­ing a lac­ta­tion room in City Hall to meet with new state law.

The elec­tric switchgear is at the Par 3 Golf Course near Cen­tral Park, In­terim Pub­lic Works Di­rec­tor Joe Bar­ra­gan said.

The box has cor­roded to the point where it is in danger of fall­ing over and is un­safe. The bot­tom of the box is rusted through and ro­dents are able to get in­side and at the wires, he said.

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son re­cently con­tacted city staff to say they will cut the power to the unit if it is not re­placed.

“I just can’t em­pha­size enough how much of an emergency this is,” Bar­ra­gan said, with a danger of elec­tro­cut­ing some­one if it should fall over.

The box pro­vides the elec­tri­cal sup­ply to the Lit­tle League fields.

Bar­ra­gan re­ceived three quotes for the equip­ment pur­chase, the least ex­pen­sive from Con­sol­i­dated Elec­tri­cal Dis­trib­u­tors of Lan­caster for $6,037.

The in­stal­la­tion work will be done by Pub­lic Works staff to save some costs. With the equip­ment, la­bor and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son’s work to con­nect the new box, the to­tal project is es­ti­mated to cost a max­i­mum of $15,737, Bar­ra­gan said.

Staff orig­i­nally re­quested the re­pair funds be taken from the city’s Gen­eral Fund Re­serves, but the Council balked at us­ing the de­pleted re­serves in­stead of any other city fund.

“Why Gen­eral Fund Re­serves?” Coun­cilmem­ber Ron Smith asked. “Why not out of Parks? Why not out of Pub­lic Works? Why does it have to go right to Gen­eral Fund Re­serves? We are in hurt­ing sta­tus fi­nan­cially.”

City Man­ager Anna Linn ex­plained that when the 2019-2020 bud­get was passed, all cap­i­tal im­prove­ment projects were de­ferred pend­ing spe­cific Council ap­proval, and the money set aside for them all placed in the Gen­eral Fund Re­serve.

This also meant that any dis­cre­tionary funds for the parks, such as for the an­nual fire­works show, were also placed in the Gen­eral Fund Re­serve and are not other­wise avail­able such as for this project, Linn said.

“There’s going to come a point that we aren’t going to have any more money in re­serves and our city is going to be bank­rupt,” Smith said. “There’s only so much that we can do.”

The build­ing op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance fund has just over $22,000 avail­able, Linn said.

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