Council passes bare-bones budget

2014 Crowley fireworks funds explode

The Mammoth Town Council passed a balanced 2013-14 budget on Wednesday, June 19, but what “highlighted” the measure is not what is in it, but what is not.

Council member John Eastman was the lone dissenting vote, with new Mayor Rick Wood, along with council members Jo Bacon, Matthew Lehman, and Michael Raimondo voting in favor.

To balance the budget, the council voted to slice $371,146, which included at least one iconic item—the 2014 Fourth of July Fireworks at Crowley Lake.

With a vague hope that Mono County and/or individual contributions can cover the fireworks cost, the council sliced $24,650 from the fireworks show and instead promised $10,000 to cover costs with an unspecified, in-town celebration.

“We need to be more strategic in how we spend money,” said Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez. “My preference would be to do something in town.”

While the fireworks funding touched an emotional nerve throughout the budget process, there may be more of an impact in town infrastructure.

Gone is $126,000 from the $750,000 road rehabilitation fund and $18,000 from the Chamber of Commerce, which would fold into Mammoth Lakes Tourism.

Also gone is $60,000 that had been earmarked for a remodel of the dilapidated police station on Old Mammoth Road.