Mammoth’s Town Council effectively ended a lawsuit between property owner John Vereuck and Mammoth Lakes Housing over a potential default on a loan for MLH’s office space at 587 Old Mammoth Rd. Council voted unanimously to grant up to $93,000 from Housing Fund/Measure A account to repay the loan, which Vereuck made in 2004.
Mayor Jo Bacon said her only reservation was the amount, which if spent in its entirety would only leave about $14,000 in the Housing Fund. “Is it possible to negotiate a lower amount?” Bacon asked staff. Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht responded that the MLH Board has reportedly reached an amount lower than that, and Council will be keep in the loop on how much as Town staff works with MLH and Vereuck to execute payment of the note.
MLH Director Pam Hennarty “humbly” requested the funds for what she called a very difficult situation. “When times were good, we expanded staff and space, but now we need to reduce our overhead … and we need to settle this lawsuit.”
Councilmember Rick Wood, who is also the Council delegate to the MLH Board, reminded the room that MLH was created by the Town with specific voter-approved funding, which he said was the right thing to do. “MLH’s core structure is an extension of the Town,” Wood opined. He added that the effect of a judgment if [MLH] loses would be detrimental to MLH, and also unfair to Vereuck.