ROSAMOND — The Rosamond Community Services District is proceeding with plans to expand its administrative offices to provide an emergency operations center as well as on-site storage for emergency supplies and records.
The District, which provides water and sewer services to the unincorporated community, re-evaluated its readiness and determined it needed more space at its administrative offices on 35th Street West.
The administrative building, which opened in 2004, was originally designed to be expanded in the future as needed, General Manager Steve Perez said.
The Board of Directors on Jan. 22 approved a contract for the remaining architectural and engineering drawings for a maximum $130,000.
The architect, C.A. Carlson, was the original architect on the building and came out of retirement to perform the initial design work for the expansion, and will complete the designs under this latest contract.
“His invaluable work is definitely going to be a plus for the ratepayers,” Perez said.
The overall project cost is estimated at $2.2 million, according to the staff report.
The construction cost estimate includes prevailing wage as required by law.
The new section of the building will extend to the south, into what is now a staff parking area.
The expansion will meet a need for on-site secure storage of the records the District is required to maintain by law, Perez said.
As it currently stands, some are stored in containers behind the offices and others are stored off-site, which is a costly solution, he said.
The addition will feature fire-safe rooms for file and emergency supply storage and is expected to be sufficient for at least the next 10 years, although staff is still evaluating the space needed.
The emergency operations center will fill a need not currently met in the building.
It will be used to respond to any disaster in the community, providing a place for information sharing, deploying staff and resources and communication with other agencies, including Sheriff, fire, utilities and other special districts, Perez said
“This is something that we need,” Board President Greg Wood said. “The EOC is most important, followed closely by the need for record storage.”
The EOC can provide a central location for coordinating disaster response efforts across eastern Kern County.
“We’re the farthest east here and we may become the focal point,” Director Rick Webb said.
“Communication in an emergency is probably your biggest challenge,” Perez said.
The District is looking at an upgrade to its radio system that will allow them to communicate with agencies throughout Kern County. The equipment cost for that upgrade, which would be an add-on to the new two-way system being installed now, is about $4,000, Public Works Manager Brach Smith said.