Town awards Measure U monies


Track, ESTA, events come up big in spring funding cycle

With a fistful of dollars in the form of Measure U sales tax funds, the Mammoth Town Council released $455,635 this past week, for projects ranging from further construction at the Whitmore Track to improvements in the town’s bus service.

Even as the town’s recreation commission began to wrestle with how to appropriate future self-imposed tax monies to special events (see P. 1), the council moved ahead in handing out the money as part of its 2013 Spring Funding Cycle.

There were few surprises in the council’s action, which split the spring awards into two chunks: one for the remainder of the 2012-13 fiscal year, which ends on July 1; and the other chunk for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The first chunk of money, $186,000 for the current fiscal year, is to be funneled primarily to the next phase of construction at the track, to the tune of $80,000. Also, the Mammoth Bluegrass Festival picked up $35,000 in funding, with “seed money” organizers promising to give back to the Measure U fund.

Of the remaining 2012-13 funds, $19,000 is to go to the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority for enhancements to its NextBus GPS system. That system gives bus riders timetables in exact time, despite gnarly weather conditions, by mobile phone interface.

The remaining money for this fiscal year is to be spread among the town’s municipal wayfinding project; the Mammoth Food & Wine Experience; Old Mammoth Road Events; the brand-new Mammoth2Bishop Bike Ride; barricades for Mammoth Trails and special events; and, finally, administrative costs.

The council moved the balance of the remaining funds into the 2013-14 fiscal year budget.

There was no shortage of requests for the money, which is specifically directed to help fund recreation, mobility and arts and culture.

When the spring application period closed on Feb. 1, the town received 20 individual funding application requests in the amount of $538,135. The organizations requesting the most amount of money were the Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games, slated for September, and the Mammoth Track Club.

The Kamikaze event, which combines mountain bike races at Mammoth Mountain, as well as the High Sierra Fall Century and other related bike events, tamed up with the Town of Mammoth Lakes for a $100,000 request, while the track club asked for a total of $103,425.