New rules for distributing San Bernardino County Measure I dollars and sub-committee approval by SANBAG members has given new life to the 4 million dollar Big Bear Lake Village reconstruction project that was to commence last April. That was when, just hours before a scheduled ground breaking ceremony, the State of California Department of Finance notified the City that the Improvement Agency Funds allocated to pay for the work should be sequestered until it could be ascertained that use of the funds was allowable under the rules (old and new) the Agency had to work within.
More than $3.5 million is potentially available for qualifying improvements on Pine Knot and Village Dr. as some of the planned improvements do not qualify and will have to be paid for by other funds (one source would be the loan repayment from the former IA to the city).
At their regular meeting on September 24, the balance of the Big Bear Lake City Council was unanimous in greeting the news from Mayor Bill Jahn, who happens to represent Big Bear Lake as President of the Desert-Mountain Region at SANBAG and sits on the SANBAG Board of Directors.
Mayor Jahn, a vocal supporter of the Village Improvement Project, and other Council Members were extremely disappointed that the project, and nearly 3 years of planning, was unplugged at the eleventh hour by forces outside of local control. Since April, nearly all the city council have made comments promising the community that alternate funding would be sought-out and the ‘Village Renaissance Project’ would be completed, as planned, sooner rather than later.
When the financial commitment between SANBAG and the City of Big Bear Lake has been formalized in October, a construction schedule will be prepared with work beginning by Contractor, Matich Corporation, as soon as weather allows in 2013 and being completed prior to July, 2013. This is great news for the community and is sure to be well received by Village businesses as a much needed shot in the arm for what has been a real struggle during the past several years of National Economic Recession and a very slow recovery to date.