By Deb Murphy
BOARD OF SUPERVISOR HIGHLIGHTS
Inyo County residents will eventually be able to “attend” Board of Supervisor meetings from the comfort of their couches.
Okay, residents now have a cat-bird view of the proceedings on the public access channel, but that view includes only the back of speakers’ heads, no view of Power Point presentations and requires voice-recognition on the part of the watcher to determine who at the dais is speaking.
The Board approved a Request for Proposal to equip the chamber with ten hi-def. cameras, the eight mounted on the dais will automatically zoom in on the speaker. The output will be streamed over the internet. The audio/visual system will be covered by a Great Basin Air Pollution Control District grant on the premise of pollution reductions from folks not driving to Independence to attend Board meetings.
- The Board approved an addendum to the Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Munro Valley Solar project that would eliminate the need for an Incidental Take Permit of the Mojave Ground Squirrel. Requirements for the permit would end up costing the developer $600,000. Instead, the developer will construct fencing to eliminate the possibility of any squirrel take, conduct a pre-clearance survey to make sure no squirrels are on-site with a biological monitor present during construction and an off-site conservation easement protecting nearly 18 aces of suitable habitat. According to Chair Matt Kingsley, the enhanced mitigation puts more pressure on the applicant as it requires no take.
- The Board authorized a $2,880 payment to cover administrative costs of a grant application for a recycled water project in Big Pine. The grant for $288,050 would be funded under the state Department of Water Resources Prop 84. The Big Pine Community Service District wastewater ponds will be the source of the recycled water with the probable endpoint a parcel at the corner of U.S. Hwy. 395 and Bartell Road, south of the community public school. The parcel, owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, was irrigated prior to 1981, according to County Water Department Director Bob Harrington, but was not included in the baseline map as Type 3 vegetation. Water was cut off during construction work on the highway and the parcel has gone from a fire hazard to a dust bowl over the past few years. The recycled water would potentially be used to irrigate the parcel.