October 2014 - Sierra Scoop Column

October is finally here as so is a balanced budget for Mono County. By law all County’s must have a balanced budget. As I sit here and write this column in early September, I’m still not sure exactly how we have balanced it. Did we have to go the route of Layoffs? (Nobody wants this). Or has the employees (not all) given up something to help save some jobs? The choices are quite tough and not easy ones. By late September we shall know exactly how we were able to balance the budget. More in next month’s column.

After the departure by two long time Commissioners to the Mono County Fisheries Commission, the BOS recently appointed two new Commissioners, welcome to Don Morton and Jeff Parker!

As things usually go slow in government, the BOS had to adopt a fifth amendment to the Conway Ranch MOU with CalTrans as there is still political wrangling over the Conway Ranch easement. This saga just seems to drag on and on and on.

I’d like to take a moment and personally thank Edward Nolan and Teresa Neely for their many years of service not just to Mono County government, but truly to all of its citizens. THANK YOU to both of you! May you enjoy your retirement!

I spoke last month about repairs to the Topaz Lane Bridge and here is an update. The contract has been awarded to Sierra View Equipment in the amount of $67,420 (FHWA Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program grant). The work is expected to be completed by winter.

The Mountain Gate Phase 2 fishing access project was out to bid and only one company submitted a bid on the project. The BOS rejected this bid as it was way too high. At this time, the project will be reworked and be put out to bid again in early 2015 with construction to be completed by mid-year.

The BOS accepted a bid for $3,186,709 for the June Lake Streets Rehab project. This project is being funded by the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The project will start this year and be completed by mid-year 2015.

At a special BOS meeting held in Walker on September 9th, the BOS presented a special Resolution of Appreciation to the Antelope Valley Lions club and many other community volunteers for their relentless work on the addition to the Antelope Valley Community Center. Dave “Pit Bull” Murray, Mike “Yes I can” Katusich and ~20 other volunteers were present for this special acknowledgement. If you have not seen the addition, please make a point to see it when you can. The work on this center continues. Through generous donations, additional volunteer efforts, the remaining windows have been replaced with new energy efficient ones and more improvements are scheduled. If you would like to volunteer, please let me know and I will get you in touch with others. Thanks to all of the men and women who have helped on this great project!