Most all local governments want to find ways to save money, and this week the Bishop City Council planned to sit down in a workshop to talk about some of those possible ways.
The Council scheduled a budget workshop for Wednesday from 9am to noon in the City Hall Executive Conference Room. It’s open to the public. City Administrator Keith Caldwell said the items up for discussion are about saving taxpayers’ dollars.
First on the agenda is a discussion of dispatch services. Right now, the Bishop Police Department handles that, but Administrator Caldwell said officials will talk about whether it makes sense to consolidate some services. One option might be to co-ordinate with Inyo County or other entities to do dispatch services. Caldwell said these discussions are preliminary. He said the Council may ask for cost assessments.
In the past, Bishop had talked to Mammoth Police about handling their dispatch needs, but Mammoth decided to stay with Mono County.
Another agenda item Wednesday is sales tax and crash tax. Although fairly controversial in many communities, a crash tax would assess out of town people who get into accidents in Bishop. The idea is to offset the cost of emergency medical service. The Bishop City Council is looking into this.
The Council will also talk about the City sales tax, which currently stands at 8%. Any increase in this tax would have to go to a vote of the people. Council members also planned to talk about potential money savings in the Information Technology area of City government.
Though not on the agenda for Wednesday, Caldwell did say that the Bishop Chamber of Commerce is looking into a Tourism Business Improvement District assessment for Bishop. Of course, Mammoth Lakes businesses and the Town Council did support this kind of district and assessment on lodging, retail, restaurant, and ski resort gross sales with the idea of spending the money on more marketing. Administrator Caldwell said Bishop would likely look at where this kind of district has been successful and may ask Mammoth Tourism Director John Urdi to come to Bishop and talk about Mammoth’s experiences.