The recommendations for the distribution of Measure R funds made by the Tourism and Recreation Commission on May 7 were accepted and approved by the Mammoth Lakes Town Council at their meeting on May 20.
Five applications were turned in for the first round of funding, which distributed dollars collected from October to December 2008. The total pot of money collected was $168,100. The five applicants were the Town of Mammoth Lakes, which turned in two applications; the Mammoth Lakes Tennis Club; the High Sierra Striders, and Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access.
The Mammoth Lakes Tennis Club was awarded $6,000 to sand down the cracked, uneven tennis courts by the community center.
Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access was awarded $100,000, which triggered a match from Rusty Gregory and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area of $50,000.
The Town was awarded $3,100 for a newly designed, M-shaped bike rack to be installed in eight to ten places around town. The goal of the project is to see how well the racks work. The Town’s second application was for $25,200 as a bridge loan for the CEQA process for the Trail System Master Plan and the Parks and Recreation Master Plan was also approved. The Town was awarded a grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to pay for the CEQA process, but that grant was one of the many that was frozen last December while the State worked out their budget. The Town is still awaiting the release of their funds, but was told by SNC that if they found bridge funding, they could use the grant to pay back the loan once the grant funds are released. It is unclear whether or not the failure of most of the State’s measures on the ballot on May 19 will affect the distribution of these grant funds.
The High Sierra Striders asked for money toward the track they are trying to build out at the Whitmore area. While not sure of a specific amount they wanted toward the $4 million project, Elaine Smith of the High Sierra Striders claimed it would take $109,000 to get through the design and planning process for the facility. The Council approved the Commission’s recommendation to give the Striders 50 percent of the $109,000 in two installments. The Commission recommended giving them $27,000 of the approximate $54,000 commitment in this first funding cycle. They requested that before they awarded the second $27,000 at a later time, the Striders come back to them with some kind of match for the money. The ideal scenario would be to pay the Striders the second half of the $54,000 when the $25,200 for the Town’s CEQA gets paid back by the SNC grant. The worst case scenario, if the loan does not get paid back, would be to give the Striders the second half of their money from the fall collection of Measure R dollars.
The next round of funding will be distributed in the fall. Between now and then the process will be reviewed and improved.