Mammoth Town Council talks Multi-Use Facility

By Deb Murphy

Mammoth Town Council members were all happy campers at Wednesday’s meeting, thanks in large part to an abundance of snow, an avalanche of holiday visitors and an estimated $2 million in Transient Occupancy Taxes logged in last month, adding to a 22-percent increase compared to last year’s TOT totals.

Mammoth-Ice-Rink1

The major agenda items focused on funding for design and environmental documents for the Multi-Use Facility. The facility was approved by a 3-2 vote in late October, along with $150,000 in funding.

Due to the need for a “bullet-resistant” California Environmental Quality Act analysis, the price tag rose by $50,000.

A recent meeting with Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort and Hart Howerton, a community, land-use, architectural firm, opened a discussion of whether to precede immediately with the preliminary work on the MUF, or wait and see what becomes of the town’s relationship with the Mountain and its consultant.

The discussion was an extension of one started late last year following MMSR’s annual update. With a refinance deal intact, the Mountain is proceeding with long-term plans to recreate itself and seems eager to partner with the Town. “I haven’t seen the scope of work,” said Dan Holler, town manager, “or the funding. If (this develops into a) community plan, we’ll need to have skin in the game.”

Based on this week’s meeting, Mayor Michael Raimondo and Councilmember Shields Richardson (the two no votes on the MUF last October) wanted to put the brakes on the MUF at Mammoth Creek Park West. In response, Holler explained that the preliminary design could be applicable to other sites.

“I see nothing compelling to change direction,” was Councilmember John Wentworth’s summation; members Jo Bacon and Colin Fernie agreed, passing with additional funds with a 3-2 vote.

The timeline going forward allows for an abundance of public input and meetings. The design firm, HMC Architects will come with three alternative designs, Holler explained. A January 29 public meeting is scheduled for input with a second meeting before Michael Baker International begins the CEQA process.

The scope of work includes the Multi-Use Facility, a Community Center and access to the park.

Mammoth Town Council members were all happy campers at Wednesday’s meeting, thanks in large part to an abundance of snow, an avalanche of holiday visitors and an estimated $2 million in Transient Occupancy Taxes logged in last month, adding to a 22-percent increase compared to last year’s TOT totals.

The major agenda items focused on funding for design and environmental documents for the Multi-Use Facility. The facility was approved by a 3-2 vote in late October, along with $150,000 in funding. Due to the need for a “bullet-resistant” California Environmental Quality Act analysis, the price tag rose by $50,000.

A recent meeting with Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort and Hart Howerton, a community, land-use, architectural firm, opened a discussion of whether to precede immediately with the preliminary work on the MUF, or wait and see what becomes of the town’s relationship with the Mountain and its consultant.

The discussion was an extension of one started late last year following MMSR’s annual update. With a refinance deal intact, the Mountain is proceeding with long-term plans to recreate itself and seems eager to partner with the Town. “I haven’t seen the scope of work,” said Dan Holler, town manager, “or the funding. If (this develops into a) community plan, we’ll need to have skin in the game.”

Based on this week’s meeting, Mayor Michael Raimondo and Councilmember Shields Richardson (the two no votes on the MUF last October) wanted to put the brakes on the MUF at Mammoth Creek Park West. In response, Holler explained that the preliminary design could be applicable to other sites.

“I see nothing compelling to change direction,” was Councilmember John Wentworth’s summation; members Jo Bacon and Colin Fernie agreed, passing with additional funds with a 3-2 vote.

The timeline going forward allows for an abundance of public input and meetings. The design firm, HMC Architects will come with three alternative designs, Holler explained.

A January 29 public meeting is scheduled for input with a second meeting before Michael Baker International begins the CEQA process.

The scope of work includes the Multi-Use Facility, a Community Center and access to the park.

 

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