Big Bear City, CA — During agenda items for the Board of Directors for the Big Bear City Community Services District, President Marge McDonald announced, “I could not be happier with these things listed under Old Business.” The business item at hand, at the March 1st CSD meeting, addressed the reassignment of East Valley properties–via sale, swap and redeeding—between CSD, the County of San Bernardino, and the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, as initially outlined in the Paradise Park Memorandum of Understanding drafted in 2007 (and, at that time, referred to as a “win-win situation” by Rec and Park’s Reese Troublefield). The properties at issue include the Erwin Lake Park (owned by CSD), the property beneath the Sugarloaf Fire Station (owned by Rec and Park), the former Bear City Park property on which the Lions Club building is situated, and CSD’s well #9 parcels, currently owned by the County. Though no action was taken last night (and the Rec and Park Advisory Commission will address the property swaps in a 4pm Thursday meeting), President McDonald thanked County Supervisor Neil Derry for his support before adding, “I see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Lions Club, and that makes me very happy.”
As explained by CSD’s General Manager Mike Mayer, the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District is offering a 1.6 acre parcel containing the Lions Club building to CSD; this is the parcel adjacent to the Historical Museum (already deeded to the Big Bear Valley Historical Society in June 2008) and the four-acre runway protection zone across from the airport. If CSD were to consider ownership of the 1.6 acre parcel, GM Mayer suggested that staff continue meetings with involved parties to address how maintenance and liability issues will be shared with regard to the parking lot and restrooms off the Greenway Drive location. Rec and Park’s Troublefield also proposed to CSD the potential purchase of roughly 11 acres among the Pan Hot Springs Meadow, for a possible zoo relocation site and, adds Mayer, “Mr. Troublefield also sweetened the real property issues contained in the MOU between CSD and BBVRPD by offering to deed the CSD’s well #9 parcels in the Bear City Park instead of charging approximately $62,000 as originally stated in the MOU.” The land swap of Erwin Lake Park and Sugarloaf Fire Station properties between the two agencies would remain unchanged.
Lions Club members, including the service club’s District Governor Mel Niez, voiced their support and commitment to the plan and though no official action took place, other than a vote to continue with the MOU, a pleased McDonald said, “There is a lot involved in it, but I know it’s going to happen.”