As Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio put it, “We’re not in an expansion mode, and I don’t expect us to be any time soon.” That’s what Carunchil told the Board of Supervisors in a discussion on the County consolidated office building proposal. The Board extended another deadline on the project.
About a year ago, Inyo County entered into a negotiating agreement with Joseph Enterprises of Bishop for development of a county office building on land at Wye Road and Highway 6. The lengthy process of talks and plans unfolds in phases. Carunchio said so far an architect has worked with county departments and with him on a concept of office space and organization in a new building. He said he would present the office lay-outs to the Board with his recommendations. After the Board has a say, it all goes to public meetings.
Carunchio made his point that the County is not expanding right now and “should be cognizant of that going forward.” He said the project would “keep to a conceptual building program involving square footages and office relationships for the purpose of going to community meetings, based on input from the Board.”
Carunchio said that none of this is binding. It’s part of the process. The CAO had come to the board about the project to ask that they approve an extended deadline of the current phase to February 28 and refund a $10,000 developer deposit to Joseph Enterprises.
Supervisor Richard Cervantes objected to the project itself because of the statewide economy and because “the people of Inyo have not had a chance to vote on this.” Cervantes said citizens tried to get it on the ballot and “the people who tried were sued by the County.” The Board did approve extending the deadline and refunding the money. Cervantes voted no.
And, while Inyo County may not be in an expansion mode, Mammoth Brewery wants to be. In August, the Inyo Board held closed sessions with Brewery representatives and with Joseph Enterprises. Joyce Turner of Mammoth Brewery had confirmed the company was interested in Joseph Enterprises’ Jay Street property in Bishop – the same property that is also part of county office complex negotiations.