Over the past few weeks, I have been asked many times about community contributions and improvements that were accomplished by Team Mono County during my earlier tenures on the Board of Supervisors. Although I am not one to dwell in the past, I take great pride in the infrastructure projects that occurred during those critical times on behalf of the people of Mono County. During the 1980’s, the community of Mammoth was experiencing rapid growth. The Board of Supervisors at that time was committed to the connecting of south County communities with this burgeoning economic hub. Although I was the credited sitting Supervisor in the two districts where these projects originated, I stood on the shoulders of community residents, Board colleagues, competent County staff, and cooperative State and Federal agencies to make these contributions become reality. The projects that were not completed during previous terms on the Board were carried forward by my two successors, Dan Paranick, District two, and Joann Ronci, District three.
Mammoth Lakes Meridian Extension – Extending Meridian Boulevard from the Stop sign adjacent to Mammoth High School to Hwy. 203 was critical to south County communities in the early 1980’s. Many safety and welfare issues associated with future planning, along with community ingress and egress problems, were addressed with this project. The completion of this roadway literally paved the way for development of the Mammoth Industrial Park, The Trails housing project, Mammoth Elementary School, the Community College, and the Mammoth Lakes Library.
Benton Crossing Road – As part of the continuing effort to connect south County communities, the Board of Supervisors approved the total reconstruction and paving of the 35 mile long Benton Crossing Road from Hwy. 395 (green church) to Hwy. 120. The private property laden communities of Benton and Hammil Valley became viable “bedroom communities” for the Town of Mammoth upon completion of this project.
Rock Creek Road – The southern Mono County residential communities of Paradise Estates and Swall Meadows were also growing during the 1980’s. Both lie adjacent to the Rock Creek Road, formerly old Hwy 395. This road extends from the Inyo County line in the south to Hwy 395 (Tom’s Place) to the north. This route is the fastest way to access other south County communities from the Paradise/Swall area. The Board of Supervisors approved the complete rehabilitation and repaving of this important old roadway.
North Shore Drive – With the snow avalanche on Hwy 158 in 1994, which isolated the community of June Lake, it became apparent that an alternate access road was necessary for the June Lake Loop area. With strong community support, the Board of Supervisors directed the County Public Works Department to investigate the feasibility of constructing a new access road. In an 18 month period, with the help of many dedicated June Lake Loop residents and cooperative public and private jurisdictions, 67 permits and approvals were obtained to make North Shore Drive become a reality. At that time, North Shore Drive represented the largest single public works project in the history of Mono County costing over $5 million. The completion of this roadway assured year round access to the June Lake Loop communities as well as solving a variety of health and safety issues, stabilizing property values, and providing recreational opportunities.
Public Buildings – In an effort to “complete” various County communities, The Board of Supervisors supported and authorized seed money for the planning and construction of the Chalfant and Paradise fire stations, the Benton Senior Citizen Center, and the Lee Vining Community Center.