The most interesting thing on the Inyo Supervisors’ agenda Tuesday is a closed session. It reads – “Real Property Negotiations. Conference with real property negotiator.” The item goes on to say that the property is on Jay Street and owned by Inyo County. The other party negotiating is Mammoth Brewing Company.
The Inyo County-owned land is the 5.6 acres south of Jack-in-the-Box in Bishop. In recent years, Mammoth Brewing has been seeking a location for a new facility. Owner Sean Turner, who was tied up with Bluesapalooza in Mammoth on Friday, said he would comment this week.
Asked to comment on the Mammoth Brewing topic, Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio said, “At the staff level, we’ve been talking with Mammoth Brewing, on and off, for several years regarding opportunities to relocate the company’s operations to Inyo County, including the City of Bishop.
“We’ve helped to identify a few sites up and down the Owens Valley,” said Carunchio, “that might meet the company’s needs and exacting standards. However, by the County moving forward and continuing exploring the feasibility of developing new, better County office space in the Bishop area, some of these properties have been precluded from further detailed, discussions.” Carunchio went on to say that “Now, at the request of and with the concurrence from Joseph Enterprises, we’re going to take a new look at how things might be able to fit together.”
The Supervisors’ agenda does include a closed session on real property negotiations with Joseph Enterprises too. Officials have said the Office Complex project could cost as much as $15 million. They had also discussed the possibility of swapping the County-owned land on Jay Street with Joseph Enterprises to offset the cost of the project.
As for the mega office building proposal, Inyo Supervisor Chairman Marty Fortney recently promised that the Board would hold a series of Town Hall meetings on the project in all communities. He said, “The Board is not willing to make a decision if constituents have not weighed in.” Fortney said he has not made up his mind. He said there are needs to be met, but he is not totally convinced, particularly if County government money were to enter the picture.
In other items before the Inyo Board Tuesday – Jack Pound wants to talk about future uses of the abandoned Pines Cafe property in Independence. The Planning Department has proposed increasing Greg James’ contract for legal services by nearly $30,000 to deal with the BrightSource solar project General Plan Amendment and Zoning changes. James’ new contract would not exceed close to $60,000.
On Wednesday, the Board will hold a special meeting at 9am in Independence for a Budget workshop. County Administrator Kevin Carunchio will offer preliminary information on departments’ budgets for the new fiscal year.