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California High-Speed Rail Authority asks county to not build homeless shelter on new rail alignment

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Posted at 2:21 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 17:23:25-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California High-Speed Rail Authority has requested for county officials to make alterations to their plan to build the homeless shelter off Golden State Highway.

According to a letter sent to Kern County Administrator, Ryan J. Alsop, the shelter's location is reportedly within the newly determined high-speed rail alignment. The Rail Authority also asked for the county to make alterations to its plan to ensure that it is not building the shelter on land that will be on the Authority's rail alignment.

The Rail Authority's regional director said the alignment was already determined in a Record of Decision signed by CEO Brian Kelly on November 8. On November 16, Kern County officials broke ground on the new low-barrier homeless shelter located at Golden State Highway and O street.

"It was also carefully determined in partnership with Kern County and City of Bakersfield to meet the clearly articulated needs of the county and the city," the California High-Speed Rail Authority's letter stated. "Second, the Authority just partnered with the City of Bakersfield and the County of Kern to move the city's homeless shelter away from the Authority's rail alignment, and at no time during those discussions did the County raise a plan to build a separate homeless shelter in that same alignment."

California High-Speed Rail Authority also said that it hopes the information on the new shelter is inaccurate or county officials can make alterations to its plan.

County officials tell 23ABC that they're disappointed in the letter and that the homeless shelter is temporary and can be moved at the time the rail alignment is built.

You can read the full letter from the California High-Speed Rail Authority below: