April 2015 - Sierra Scoop Column

The Bridgeport road shop will be getting a new Thermal Biomass heater thanks to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. This will replace the current propane unit. Savings from not using Propane is expected to offset any additional labor costs.

After the February 6 wind, fire and rain storm, Mono County enacted a “Local Emergency” and asked the Governor for a declaration of emergency at the State level. Governor Brown listened to our case and approved the declaration. This declaration will allow Mono County and its residents to receive various aid from the State. For more information check out www.monocounty.ca.gov.

In early March, the County held its Mid-Year Budget discussions. There were a total of $687,835 in requests from the County but only $483,142 available. Items ranged from funding requests by Community Grant Programs, Legal contingencies, Child Support repayments, loss of funding by our Road Department, funding for our EMS program, additional fish stocking and of course unreimbursed expenses due to the Round Fire in South County.

One hot topic was the EMS program. While it is anticipated that this program will run over its budget by ~$228,829, one option was to reduce service in Walker and June Lake (the two least busy stations). While this was a hot topic and consumed much of the 3 hour meeting, in the end projects that totaled $483,142 were approved.

Here’s the list: Legal Contingencies, $72,000; Child Support 2012/2013 mandated repayments, $81,782; Assessment appeals deposit refunds, $5800; Government Transparency Software, $8000; Road loss of SRS funding, $90,186; EMS shortfall, $225,284. GRAND TOTAL $483,142.

While the BOS funded the shortfall of the EMS program, it also is moving forward with a Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee comprised of qualified health personal and members of the public. This committee is tasked with the job of coming up with an EMS program that continues its service levels, attempt to include those portions of the County that are under served, and most importantly a program that is sustainable. No idea will be off the table. All ideas from this committee and from the Public will be vetted. We are looking for the best of the best!