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    ASK TBC: Where has all the city utility surcharge money gone?

    By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
    Thursday, Jan 22 2015 10:32 AM

    Q: I would like The Californian to provide information on the city of Bakersfield utility surcharge revenue.

    How much money is collected yearly? How much money has been collected to date? How is this money used? I would like to know when this was enacted, by what authority this was enacted. Isn’t this considered a tax? If this is a tax, where was the vote by the people?

    Also, I would like to see a detailed list of where this money is being spent, how much is used for overhead and administration costs to administer the tax itself and the spending of the utility taxes.

    — Joseph Doty A: No sweat. The Bakersfield City Council voted 5-2 in November 2008 to create the 1 percent surcharge for gas and electricity as part of a renewal of...

  2. Did KHSD board president Vegas follow meeting rules?

    Q: In conducting school board votes, Chad Vegas, president of the Kern High School District board in 2014, often asked for board members in agreement. But he did not ask if there were any disagreements or abstentions. This is unethical...

  3. What's that big machine in the middle of Highway 58?

    Q: Does the huge machine in the middle of Highway 58, near South Chester Avenue, lay the rebar for the new lanes? — Sidney Kelley A: Janet Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Thomas Roads Improvement Program, responded — including with...

  4. When will that smelly project in the southwest be finished?

    Q: Can we get an update on the stinky construction in the southwest? It's still going on and I think the hazy weather makes the smell spread further. I could smell it at my son's school today a half-mile away from the site. — Jamie Butow...

  5. How do those lines form in the sky?

    Q: What causes the vapor lines in the sky all the time? Seems like all the beautiful blue skies are tracked all over with these white lines. — Marilyn Jones A: As you and most people probably already know, they’re contrails from...

  6. Do the police cite for illegally modified suspensions?

    Q: Why don't the Bakersfield traffic police cite trucks with illegally modified suspensions?   They are easy to spot whenever they are on the road. The bottoms of their frames are way above the maximum allowed and their oversized wheels...

  7. Why are the lights always on at Memorial Stadium?

    Q: Why do the parking lot lights at Bakersfield College’s Memorial Stadium always seem to be on? I'll drive by at 3 a.m. on a Thursday and there's nobody at school and the lights are on. That's expensive. — Matt Antolik A: BC spokeswoman...

  8. Are any improvements coming to Highway 184?

    Q: Are there any plans to redo Highway 184 east of Morning Drive? With increased traffic from two new schools, it's getting pretty dangerous. It has no shoulders on either side of the road from Hillcrest Mortuary to Bedford Green Drive,...

  9. Any new news on the shuttered Mesa Verde correctional facility?

    Q: Can you tell me what's going on at the old Mesa Verde Community Correctional Facility on Golden State Highway? There has been a lot of new construction going on there for months now. — Wendy Trine A: A spokesman for The GEO Group,...

  10. When will Calloway Drive be widened here?

    Q: A major bottleneck on traffic flow is Calloway Drive south of Rosedale Highway  to Holland Street. It's only four lanes. We have been waiting for several years to see it widened to six lanes.   What is the hold-up? — John Tierce A:...

  11. Will the county extend Patton Way?

    Q: Are there any plans to extend Patton Way from Meany Avenue to Downing Avenue? The current blockage of the short private roadway makes getting to Downing Avenue very difficult. — Carl Endsley A: Kern County Roads Director Craig Pope...

  12. Why are there bus-only fog delays?

    Q: Why, when school districts call fog delays, do they sometimes call two-hour delays for children who ride the bus but not for kids who walk or get transported to school another way? Bus drivers are protected but not the rest of us? —...

  13. Will these sidewalks be built on Stockdale Highway?

    Q: On Stockdale Highway there is a stretch of unfinished sidewalk on the north side of the road in between Allen Road and Jenkins Road. Does the city have any plans to finish this? — Anthony Flores   A: The short answer is no near-term...

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