The slowdown of new construction in Mammoth Lakes has affected the towns ability to pay for public projects.
At the most recent Town Council meeting, Finance Director Brad Koehn and Town Manager Rob Clark, explained that the new construction slowdown means fewer Developer Impact Fees slated to help pay for town projects like the new police department, the parking garage at the Village, and the roof at the ice rink.
There are still major development projects in the pipeline, like the Ritz Carleton Hillside project, the Eagle Lodge, and the Clearwater, but until the projects pull permits, get started and pay the developer fees, the town doesnt have the money to pay for public projects.
Clark emphasized to the Council that the town was not broke, but that with zero DIF coming in this year he recommended that we dont spend the money until we have it.
With the potential delay in construction on the new public safety building to house the police department, Mammoth Police Officer Jesse Gorham, speaking on behalf of the Police Officers Association, told the Council that the current police station, a converted jacuzzi store, was inadequate and hindered the ability of the police to do their jobs.
Council members appeared to be caught off guard by the news that construction on the new police department would not likely start in 2009 as planned. A visibly disturbed Councilmember Kirk Stapp said that he had no idea that the new police department was not going through in 09.
Town Manager Clark told the Council that until one of the big developments like the Hillside moves forward, the town should not commit to large public projects only to find out we cant pay the bills.
Council member Kirk Stapp said that he needed time to digest the new information. The Council did not make any decisions on this subject at the meeting Wednesday.