The Town of Mammoth Lakes only received one bid for the erection of the sprung structure at the Mammoth Yosemite Airport. The bid was from Spiess Construction and came in at $156,200, which was $46,000 more than the Town had budgeted. In an effort to make up the difference, staff proposed instead of having two restrooms inside the structure (men’s and women’s) there should simply be one, unisex restroom. This would save $15,000. Eliminating some concrete outside of the structure would eliminate another $15,000.
“There is plenty of restroom capacity inside the main terminal,” explained Town Senior Associate Civil Engineer Peter Bernasconi, “and we could add another restroom [to the sprung structure] in the future.”
Restrooms aside, the real issue on Councilman Skip Harvey’s mind was whether or not moving forward with the sprung structure was legal in regard to a federal injunction against construction activity decreed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman in 2003.
Town Attorney Andrew Morris issued a memo last week stating why moving forward with the structure is legal, and tried to reassure Harvey again on Wednesday night that he had spoken with the Attorney General’s Office and it was not going to take any action.
“Nothing implicates going against the ruling,” Morris said. “We don’t need to talk to the judge, because all of the other agencies said we’re okay. I don’t see what action the judge could take anyway.”
“As a young councilmember I listened to our former attorney and the FAA when they said everything was okay and they were dead wrong,” Harvey retorted. “I’m just wondering why we didn’t go to the judge at the very beginning to seal the deal, so nothing would come back to bite us. Not having every T crossed and every I dotted concerns me.”
Councilman John Eastman, however, felt exactly the opposite.
“I am not going to base my decision on one or two private citizens’ ideas or views,” he said. “I’m not going to be gun shy. We have checked with everyone we should and they said move forward.”
Council approved the contract for the erection of the sprung structure 5-0. Harvey voted yes, he said, because he knows there is a need for the structure with increased flights for winter 2011/12.