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Franchise Administration

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Every individual, company or government entity, not specifically exempted by California law, must obtain a franchise from the County to install underground pipeline or conduit or overhead lines on County road right-of-ways. Typically, this includes oil and gas companies, utility companies, private electricity producers and farming companies.

Application for a franchise is made by calling (661) 868-3000 and asking for Property Management. An application must be completed and submitted along with an accurate drawing showing details of the proposed road right-of-way to be used. An administrative fee of $1,200 is also required with the submittal of the application. The applicant is responsible for the cost of public notice publications and all required environmental documentation.

The master Franchise Ordinance contains the basic requirements and responsibilities of a franchise holder (Franchisee). Some of these are shown here:

  1. The Franchisee shall maintain during the term of the franchise, a surety bond or other specified faithful performance security in the amount specified by the Board of Supervisors. The surety bond amount is typically between $10,000 and $50,000 and is primarily determined by the length of the right-of-way used.
  2. The Franchisee shall obtain a liability insurance policy in the amount specified by County that protests County against damages which may arise from the operations of the Franchisee’s facilities.
  3. The Franchisee shall pay an annual fee for the use of the road right-of-way. The fee paid is based on the use for which the franchise is granted. If the Franchisee is a Public Utility, Publicly Regulated Utility, or Common Carrier the fee is set by the State of California Public Utilities Code, (Division 3, Chapter 2, Article 1, Section 6201, et seq.)

Master Franchise Ordinances

Application Forms

Other Forms

Application Process

To submit an application for a franchise:

  1. Fill out the appropriate application form.
  2. Fill out the Environmental Form 123.
  3. Create an accurate drawing showing details of the proposed road right-of-way use.
  4. Write a check or acquire a money order for the $1200.00 franchise administration fee.
  5. Mail or drop off the application form, completed Environmental Form 123, right-of-way drawing, and check or money order to:

County of Kern - General Services Division
1115 Truxtun Ave., 3rd Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Attn: Property Management

Note: The applicant is responsible for the cost of required notice publications and all required environmental documentation.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the franchise process, contact Lee Rangel, Real Property Agent at (661) 868-3071.

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