$100,000 on the line for Council, Trails group

John Wentworth and the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation on Wednesday engaged the Town Council with a bit of political jawboning.

Wentworth, the president/CEO of the foundation, said if the council would commit $100,000 to the MLTPA right away, the foundation would in turn trim its request of the same amount in its application for Measure R funding.

“We don’t want to lose our momentum,” implored Wentworth. “This has been four years in the making. It’s critical we find the resources and staffing. We’re going to need all hands on deck.”

In response, the council passed a resolution supporting the development and implementation of the Mammoth Lakes trail system and committing the resources necessary to coordinate and represent the interests of the town in regard to its component of the trail system. The council did not, however, commit the money.

There is a deadline of Oct. 8, however, Wentworth reminded the council. That’s the date applications for Measure R funding cease for the current cycle.

Measure R was approved by Mammoth voters in the June 2009 election. It raised the local sales tax to provide money for recreation, parks, etc. in the town.

The foundation said the proposed annual cost to fully fund the trail system work will be $350,000 a year for two years. That money would be raised by Measure R or from the town’s general fund, or a combination.

Wentworth, along with the director of public works, Ray Jarvis, said the foundation is eager for a council decision. “Now is not the time to be silly,” he said.