Are County public works employees just board? (Photo: Kirkner)
During its Dec. 7 meeting, Mono County’s Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to extend the termination date on the existing Sheriff’s Substation lease until May 31, 2011. Public Works has more work to do in its evaluation of the site, and the extension was also thought to give Jim Ouimet and his Mammoth Dog Teams crew sufficient time to close out his winter season. The building won’t be demolished for now, but was recently boarded up, much to Ouimet’s chagrin.
A hot water heater being used by Ouimet has to be relocated, in addition to water, power and other work that has yet to be planned out. The water heater, located in the building in what used to be the morgue, is an authorized use of the building as previously defined by the County. Such a use could be rescinded without leading to eviction, though it’s not an option the County is pursuing.
“I was under the impression there was a specific plan in place, and after nine months, I’m not seeing [any kind of temporary structure] put up in order to get him out of the building once and for all,” Supervisor Hap Hazard remarked. “It brings me back to [my earlier position of] let’s plough it under and be done with it.” Hazard added he wasn’t looking for a way to extend the termination date, but a way to “chop it off.”
County Administrative Officer Dave Wilbrecht said it’s a matter of setting priorities. Ouimet still needs to come back to Public Works and submit a final plan for the site. He said the current solution (including boarding up the building) isn’t the best one, but the best one at the moment, given the season and other problems hindering work on the site.
Mammoth Brewing Company, which is the other bidder for a lease on the site (in addition to Ouimet), said its footprint could be a large one. Ouimet has reportedly said he can work within a smaller area, and in the meantime, Joyce Turner said she’s still trying to get the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to the table to hash out water issues, and MBC indicated it still hasn’t ruled out another location for its new brewery.
Public Works Assistant Director Kelly Garcia said that until there is a new lease on the property, at present, even if they wanted to, neither MBC nor Ouimet could begin any sort of development.
Chair Byng Hunt corralled the Board into extending the date until May, on the grounds that it would give everyone involved the most breathing room to figure out and execute their next moves.