October 2012 - Sierra Scoop Column

On August 23rd, a memorial service was held for Kenneth Chichester. I will always remember his stories of wild mustangs and wild times. The passing of Kenneth marks the end of an era that will be missed!

The County has adopted a budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. Government always works on what “they think will be coming in”, so with uncertainty at the State and Federal levels, along with potentially lower property taxes, the overall revenue may be less than anticipated. The budget will be reviewed mid-year to see exactly how the County is fairing at that time. The final balance in reserves (savings) is ~$1.7 million, an increase over last year!

At the urging of our Fire Chiefs and citizens, our local Fire Districts will share in some additional money from the County of ~$38,000 to help offset County fees and other expenses.

Grant funds to Non-County Agencies/Organizations remained the same as last year at $75,000. These funds help fund organizations like Historical Societies, Little League and others.

Due to the closure of June Mountain Ski Area, a reduction in Transient Occupancy Tax of $100,000 or more is anticipated. To help June Lake businesses promote their area for this coming winter, $100,000 was approved for things like, bus service between June Lake and Mammoth, additional advertising and other projects.

While $100,000 was requested for Mammoth Airline subsidies, the BOS approved (not a unanimous vote) $85,000, the same as last year.

While the enlargement of the Antelope Valley Community Center has been on hold due to additional code requirements, the Board approved $55,000 to upgrade its water system and add fire sprinklers. Hopefully the addition will be completed by summer of next year! Bridgeport’s Memorial Hall is also in need of upgrades. The local CSA has pledged upwards of $300,000 for these improvements. We are all hoping that these upgrades get some attention by the County sooner than later!