Last night’s Big Bear Lake City Council meeting opened with business pertaining to the Improvement Agency and also included an update from the Village Business Association; VBA President Charlie Brewster thanked the IA for their financial support of Friday Nights in the Village and requested that the City update the Village Specific Plan, noting that it is crucial to the success of Village merchants. For starters, the Improvement Agency, which is made up of City Council members and chaired by Liz Harris, did approve the expenditure of $107,000 for Village lighting upgrades, which will include new lighting in the Village, improvements to the Village entrance sign near Paine Road, and the purchase and installation of LED lights for trees in the Village. Among action items on the Improvement Agency’s agenda, the small business sign improvement program was reviewed at the September 28 meeting and, per IA request, will also include building facades. The final version of this program will come back for approval but, as proposed, will provide small business owners within the City of Big Bear Lake 50% in matching grants to replace outdated signage and facades. In other news related specific to the Village area, the City will be taking ownership of the Knickerbocker Creek drainage channel, as the County will transfer ownership of 17 properties and the City will assume maintenance responsibilities, estimated to cost $16,000 annually. The acquisition of these properties formerly owned by the County’s Flood Control District, transferred free of charge save for some administrative fees, will open the possibility for City improvements in the future, those potentially including additional street parking, the naturalization of the existing concrete surface of the channel, and the addition of a bike path through the area, which extends from Veterans Park at Big Bear Boulevard to Pennsylvania Avenue.
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