County to seek bids for traffic project in Castaic
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to establish regional resources for veterans in the Santa Clarita Valley and expand employment opportunities for county residents who served in the military and their families, too.
In addition, the supervisors voted to approve a traffic improvement project at Castaic Road at Ridge Route Road and The Old Road and Parker Road. The board’s action authorized the director of Public Works to adopt plans to procure and execute the construction project for an estimated contract in an amount between $1.5 million and $2 million.
Under the motion, which was written by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the county will use one-time funding to retain a consultant to work with stakeholders in designing and developing services for the Arts and Veterans Center in the SCV. The county will also provide one-time funding for possible improvements to the center.
County staff will look to establish ongoing sustained funding for the services and programs made as a result of this motion.
According to census data from 2020, the Newhall census county division, which includes the SCV, is estimated to have a veteran population of 4.6% of the total community. In L.A. County, veterans account for 2.8% of the total population.
County staff indicate veterans are using services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the state Department of Veterans Affairs through the VA Service Connected Disability Rating.
In the Newhall CCD, approximately 76% of veterans have no disability rating, which means they have not been properly serviced by local agencies or received proper resources, according to the item.
“Given there is a limited number of county veteran service officers, CalVet and VA services serving this community, there is an opportunity to further expand access to services, especially since the local veteran population per capita is nearly double that of the county,” Barger’s motion reads.
In a second motion, which the board also approved, the county will look for ways to expand employment opportunities for veterans in a number of ways.
The county will direct the Department of Human Resources in coordination with the departments of Military and Veterans Affairs and Economic Opportunity to identify the county’s current veterans’ workforce development efforts and ways to increase opportunities in the public and private sectors.
The motion describes a multi-step approach to accomplishing this goal — including partnerships, proper communication of benefits and resources to veterans hired by the county, possible changes to the county’s veteran-related policies and more.
Lastly, the board approved a road improvement project for Castaic. The board directed and authorized its director of Public Works to adopt plans for the proposed project.
According to the agenda item, the intersection of Castaic Road at Ridge Route Road and The Old Road at Parker Road experience severe congestion when traffic is diverted from Interstate 5 during severe weather or heavy traffic conditions.
The purpose of the project is the installation of traffic signals at both intersections to reduce traffic congestion along the Interstate 5 corridor.
County staff anticipate the project will begin in April 2023 and be completed in July.