As a result of this question being asked, Lamont might just get one. First, a little background. The Kern County Parks and Recreation Department partners and coordinates with various facilities throughout the county to open cooling centers when temperatures are expected to reach certain highs. To be part of that program, the county requires the partners be able to open the centers on weekends and holidays if highs are going to meet the threshold on those days -- and not everyone can, said department Director Bob Lerude. The county doesn't want to get into a situation where it announces the opening of cooling centers countywide and then has to add various exceptions, he said, because that will confuse the public. The problem in Lamont is that the Bear Mountain Recreation and Park District facilities that could accommodate a cooling center are often rented out for events on weekends and so can't meet the county requirement, said District Manager Lorena Cervantes. But, Lerude pointed out, nothing precludes Bear Mountain from operating a cooling center on its own, outside the county system, when its facilities are available. We passed that sentiment on to Cervantes, who said that sounded like a good idea and she'd take it to her board for consideration. "I don't see why that would be a problem," Cervantes said. She said she'd let us know what the board decides.
District Manager Lorena Cervantes, Director Bob Lerude