Officials from Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes may reconsider plans to build a civic center next to the hospital.clark_stapp.jpg

After years of effort, staff from Mammoth Hospital, the Town of Mammoth and Mono County arranged a land swap with the Forest Service to build a civic center complex planned to include new court facilities along with a new police station. With the land now in their possession, Mammoth and Mono officials have been presented with an alternative – to house the county offices and court facilities in the Sierra Center mall.

With the possibility of saving money, Mammoth and Mono Officials are at least considering the Sierra Center mall proposal. The idea is that rather than build new government facilities on the ten acres of now town/county owned land between the hospital and main street, the owner of the Sierra Center mall would subdivide the mall into condominiums which would then be sold to the county, the town, and the courts.

At a recent meeting between county and town officials, Mammoth Council member Kirk Stapp said that the town and the county have a fiduciary responsibility to analyze the Sierra Center Mall proposal and see what opportunities are there.

Stapp explained that there were uncertainties in the proposal, like where the badly needed new police station would fit in with the plan. Stapp expressed doubts that the courts would buy into the Sierra Center Mall plan as well.

Mono Supervisor Byng Hunt also expressed doubts about changing plans for the civic center. We bought some property, not to say we cant sell it or do something else with it, but we are committed now, he said. What ever decision county and town officials eventually make, Hunt said that we need to come to grips with this and do it soon.

Facing a shortfall in developer impact fees to build on the newly acquired land, Mono Finance Director Brian Muir agreed that the county should analyze the Sierra Center Mall proposal.

Town and county staff plan to look over the Sierra Center Mall proposal and make a recommendation to the board and council.

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