With all of the uncertainty in the Town of Mammoth Lakes government money situation, many have focused on the official Town Reserve for Economic Uncertainty. The REU has shrunk and now relies on Mammoth Airport for a pay back.
Just some more information on the status of the REU. According to Interim Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, staff originally estimated the REU at $4 million, which added up to the Town Council goal of 25% of the entire budget. But, $2.7 million of that estimate does not exist in the reserve account as actual money. It’s an IOU from Mammoth Airport. Martinez said the Airport will pay that back over the next three years.
The manager said that this fiscal year, more revenue is expected which could boost the REU to $1.7 million. The Town general fund loaned Mammoth Airport the roughly $2.7 million for capitol improvements, including terminal work.
The money that Mammoth Airport gets from the FAA every year, based on numbers of enplanements or numbers of passengers that board flights every year, will pay back the Town. That entitlement has gone up from $150,000 per year to $1 million. Martinez said that the Airport will pay back the Town out of those FAA funds. She hastened to add that the FAA has approved that plan.
During budget discussions, the Town Council will talk about how much of the FAA entitlement the Town expects in pay back for the fiscal year. Martinez indicated that the Airport does need part of that $1 million for expenses.