Notes from Bishop City Council meeting

By Deb Murphy

  • Bishop City Public Works Director David Grah addressed concerns regarding water use at the Bishop High School football/soccer/track fields and on Inyo County’s Sunland Drive project, specifically in the face of efforts to drop water use by 25 percent of 2013 levels. Both have special permission to use city water, Grah explained at the City Council meeting Monday evening. The high school has re-seeded the field and installed a more efficient sprinkler system on its very badly worn out field. The County is paying the City $700 a day for the water use on the project that will also include that portion of Sunland within the city limits. Water use on the project has peaked, Grah said. In other water/weather related information, Grah said his department is “planning ahead to get ready for a big winter” in light of reports of a ferocious El Nino. Let’s all hope.dry-cleaners-parking-1

  • Both Grah and City Administrator Jim Tatum discussed this Thursday’s Parking Open House, held from 3 to 7 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room. The open house will be a brainstorming session according to Grah, to “see what works and what doesn’t work now and to get priorities” and suggestions for improvements. “We’re encouraging as much participation as possible,” Tatum said, while still realizing that the City can’t fill all the needs. “For the most part,” Tatum said, “we don’t want (downtown business) employees taking the prime spots.” Tatum noted that existing parking problems “got this way over the years. It will be a process” to fix those problems.

  • Bishop Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce Director Tawni Thomson showed off the current issue of Sunset magazine featuring a 16-page spread on the Owens Valley and Bishop as a destination. Other marketing efforts include a social media campaign well underway as well as a print ad campaign and the upcoming Fly Fishing Faire.

  • Inyo County Planning Department staffer Elaine Kabala asked the Council to approve a Request for Proposal for a consultant on a Specific Plan as a logical extension of a Corridor Plan for North Sierra Highway, funded by a $285,000 CalTrans grant. The County’s initial presentation was made in July with plans to approach the Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Tri-County Fairgrounds board. According to Kabala, both entities were interested but no firm commitments have been given as yet. The Board of Supervisors will vote on proceeding with the RFP in today’s meeting. The Council approved the RFP, contingent on the Board’s approval.

  • Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter asked for and received approval on a three-year contract with VieVu for an upgraded body camera program. BPD offices have been equipped with body cameras since 2010. “The technology has advanced,” Carter said and the new three-year, $33,541 contract will provide a faster, less cumbersome process in capturing and preserving evidence.  VieVu will replace the department’s older units at $199, a significant discount from the $800-plus cost. In addition, the output will be stored in the Microsoft Cloud Secure Data storage, the only system vetted and approved for law enforcement by California and the federal government.  The first year’s cost will be covered by $6,000 in unused Assembly Bill 109 funding, this year’s $3,500 AB109 allotment and $2,385 from the Remote Access Network Fund.

 

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