Mammoth Recreation Commission ponders Measure R dollars
On Tuesday, the Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission heard from the fall 2013 Measure R applicants. There were five applications but only two applicants — the Mammoth Track Club and the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
The total ask for five projects came to $419,191, but technically only $311,035 is available for use. Even less if the Commission decides to continue building a Measure R reserve.
A fund balance of more than $1 million is what is actually sitting in the coffers. However, a total of $756,100 is already encumbered, which is part of the issue the Commission is trying to alleviate with the development of a reserve.
Encumbrances include administration, maintenance obligations, 2012 encumbered funds, the Mammoth Lakes Trail System obligation, and the recently implemented capital investment fund.
“We already have $67,000 in maintenance [obligations] from Measure R,” explained Commission Chair Bill Sauser. “If we keep spending on small, one-off projects [that then require maintenance], we will never get to the big projects.”
Which is why last spring, the Commission started a reserve fund using the 2012 fall/2013 spring balance of $291,277. If, by majority, the Commission votes to continue to dedicate these funds to a reserve, which is in addition to the capital investment fund of $300,000, then limited funds (approx. $20,000) would be available to conduct the fall award.
The Mammoth Track Club is requesting $52,191 for track and field equipment, including hurdles. The Town’s four applications were for the following: Mammoth Roller Rink Operations ($20,000), Whitmore Pool technology upgrades ($7,000), Trails End Park completion ($290,000 that includes a $200,000 grant match), and Parks Master Planning ($50,000).
Andrew Kastor of the Mammoth Track Club made the presentation for the track and field equipment, explaining that bringing in more equipment such as hurdles would facilitate more athletes coming to train at the still-new track down at Whitmore.
The Whitmore Pool technology would bring point of sale, as well as Wi-Fi capabilities to the pool.
The roller rink operations would include one year of operations and the purchase of a shade structure for the rink.
The Trails End Park completion would include installing turf or grass next to the playground.
Lastly the Parks Master Plan, as the Commissioners put it, would help the Town get focused. “It helps us plan what we want and where we want to put it,” said Commissioner Betsy Truax.
When asked after the meeting why there were so few applications, and why the majority came from the Town, the Commission explained that Measure R was maturing and had fulfilled many of the one-off needs. Again, another reason to start saving for the big-ticket items.
“I’d rather set aside money to pay for the big ticket items up front,” Sauser said.
He pointed out that the Commission also had the option to send forward its recommendations to the Town Council with contingencies. “We can go back to Council and ask for a General Fund match,” he said.
The Commission took no action and will resume the conversation during a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. in Suite Z.