Press release from Town of Mammoth Lakes

Project Overview

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has begun the process to plan, design and construct Community Multi-Use Facilities at Mammoth Creek Park. The Town has allocated funding for the initial planning, preliminary design and the environmental documentation effort. The Town has also identified the majority of funding for the Multi-use Facility. If approved, these facilities are planned to be located on Town-owned land within Mammoth Creek Park on the west side of Old Mammoth Road.

Mammoth Creek Park West

Mammoth Creek Park West

The project includes three major components: a multi-use facility, complementary community center, and a playground with accessible components. The anticipated opening date of the Multi-use Facility is October 2017.

It is the intent of the Town to create a ‘recreation destination’ that the entire community of Mammoth Lakes will actively enjoy, value and ultimately be proud to call their Park. The guiding principle builds from the “A Town within a Park” concept that will deliver local residents and visitors high-quality complementary recreation facilities at Mammoth Creek Park. The proposed improvements will be designed to work with the existing play areas and parking. Complementary programming will promote a degree of excitement, individual expression, exploration, pleasure, challenge and accomplishment leading to an enhanced quality of life.

This website is the source for the project and includes information on the existing Multi-use Facility and Community Center, the site (Mammoth Creek Park West), the project timeline, community engagement (How you can participate), the environmental review and facilities planning/design process, and finally facilities programming (How you want to play!).

The Town is seeking broad public input regarding the initial planning and design effort and invites you to a Public Workshop on Friday, January 29, 2016 from 4:00-6:00pm at Suite Z in the Minaret Village Mall (above Starbucks). Be part of your Town’s recreation future by participating in the Plan Mammoth Creek Park project!

Background – Ice Rink History

The Town has been engaged in finding a permanent location for the Multi-Use Facility with a focus on the operation of an ice rink since 1998. A covered ice rink has been highly anticipated by our skating and sporting community.

From 1999-2004 the Town operated a seasonal ice rink at the Mammoth RV Park that was well attended, but escalating operating costs required the Town to find another location for the Facility.

In 2007 the Town entered into a long-term agreement with the Mammoth Unified School District (MUSD) and the Mono County Office of Education (MCOE) on two acres of land adjacent to the District offices to construct and operate a Multi-Use Facility. A year-round facility gained momentum in 2007 when the Town was awarded State Park Grants in the amount of approximately $754,000 to construct a permanent Facility. The grants plus Town funds provided for the completion of the facility. A planned roof along with other site improvements was not completed due to escalating costs.

From 2007-2010 the Town operated the ice rink on a temporary basis on leased District property that averaged over 6,000 skaters per winter. In 2011, Measure R funds contributed to the installation of a permanent ice rink slab and from 2012 the Town has been operating the Facility year-round as an ice rink in winter and the Mammoth RecZone (inline/roller skating, skate ramps, volleyball, etc.) in summer. Visitation at the ice rink peaked at 11,209 in 2011/12 and has averaged approximately 7,000 per year during the four year period.

Town Council Action

On April 1, 2015, Town Council directed staff to provide recommendations regarding the relocation of the Multi-use Facility to Mammoth Creek Park West. This direction was based on Council’s action to not renew a long-term lease with the Mammoth Unified School District (MUSD) and Mono County Office of Education (MCOE) at its current location. Analysis of the current site included but was not limited to the following findings regarding the current location:

It is not in the best interest of the Town to continue to invest in a leased facility for a 20+ year time frame;

The enhanced use of the Facility at its current location creates some unintended conflicts with other facilities (i.e. Library, parking), which may grow in the future;
The location has operational constraints; and
The site is constrained in size and location, thereby limiting the Town’s ability to develop future complementary community amenities, such as a community center, expanded play areas for summer use, etc.

Based on a review of the options to continue with the Multi-use Facility at the current location with additional investment, the pros and cons of the site for each of the parties, and looking long-term with the best interests of the community in mind, it was determined that the best strategy was to look at an alternative location for an improved Facility.

On October 21, 2015, Town Council accepted the recommendations from the Recreation Commission, Mammoth Lakes Recreation (MLR) and members of the Ad Hoc Facility Task Force to commence preliminary design and environmental documentation for the location of community recreation facilities within Mammoth Creek Park West.

This action followed extensive due diligence conducted by Town staff along with representatives from MLR and the Recreation Commission on a proposed relocation of the Community Multi-Use Recreation Facility and the consideration of location options and environmental analysis. This Ad Hoc Committee worked as a short-term task force for three months to provide options to Council that also included the determination and investigation of an appropriate and low cost[B1] alternative for a temporary shade cover at the current facility. After extensive research and analysis the consensus of the group was to, a) recommend the Multi-Use Facility be located at Mammoth Creek Park West with the plan to include a Community Center as a complementary use, and b) not recommend the installation of a temporary shade structure at the existing facility, especially considering those funds could be used for the permanent facility.

Reference Documents

Below are links to meetings where the project has been discussed, including any action by Town Council or the Recreation Commission.

To be completed…
Financial Considerations

On October 21, 2015, Town Council approved the use of up to $150,400, and on January 6, 2016 approved an additional $50,000 to contract for the preliminary design and environmental documentation for the location of community recreation facilities within Mammoth Creek Park West.

At this time, the majority of funding for the construction of the Multi-use Facility roof has been identified and includes the use of restricted Recreation Development Impact Fees, restricted Fractional Mello Roos District fees, set-aside general fund monies, and a $300,000 Measure R allocation. Relocation costs are anticipated to be funded primarily through an internal loan structure, with repayment to be made by funds currently used for lease payments. At this time, funding for the Community Center has not been identified. It should be noted that as this project continues to increase in costs the funding will need to be revised.

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