Tag: Big Bear Lake City Council

DWP Goes Solar

Big Bear lake, CA, November 14, 2014 – Not long ago, the City of Big Bear Lake put together a design/build solar contract that was partially funded by U.S. Department of Energy grant funding. The original solar projects proposed by the city, which include the new solar parking kiosks in the lower lot at the Civic Center which will generate more than 50% of the building’s electricity, came in under budget. The excess grant funds would be lost if not used, which prompted DWP General Manager Reggie Lamson to suggest installing solar panels on the 4200 square feet of south facing roof on the DWP’s office building. Once it was determined that the solar project would be feasible, the City added the DWP project as a second amendment to the original contract. The grant funded half of the $303,000 project cost with the rest coming from DWP reserves. The solar panels are expected to offset the annual $38,000 per year electricity bill by $26,000, making the payback period about six years. The panels should be operational as of tomorrow. If you’re curious how much solar energy is being produced, there is a display screen in the lobby of the office building showing current solar energy...

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Bear Valley Election Results Are In

Big Bear, CA, November 5, 2014 – In many ways the national and local elections of 2014 were remarkable, and with 100% of the San Bernardino County precincts counted, we can report the following for the Big Bear Valley. With impressive results, the California State Assembly District 33 was won by Big Bear resident and current City Council Mayor Jay Obernolte. The three positions for Big Bear City CSD will be filled with the two incumbents, Karen Oxandaboure and John Green, along with Al Ziegler. The Bear Valley Unified School District seats were won by long time incumbent Ken Turney, along with Steve Foulkes, who won in a convincing manner. The crowded field of the Big Bear City Airport Board was won by Joseph Kelly and Steve Baker, along with Gary Steube who landed the two year seat. The Municipal Water District will have Maryanne Lewis returning to office for District two. And new to the Board, winning with ease, is Charlie Brewster for the MWD’s 3rd District. In addition, and noteworthy, the Big Bear Lake City Council election was done by affirmation as it was an uncontested race. Returning to office will be incumbents Rick Herrick and Dave Caretto, and joining them will be new member, Randy Putz. Swearing in for all locally elected members will take place sometime after the County of San Bernardino Registrar of Voters...

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City Council Reaffirms Restrictions on Large Weddings at Alpenhorn B & B

Big Bear Lake, CA, October 28, 2014 – The Big Bear Lake City Council was asked to consider an appeal from the Alpenhorn Bed and Breakfast regarding large weddings conducted on their grounds. Earlier this month, the city’s planning commission approved a conditional use permit allowing weddings, but limited the size to 49 guests and in addition required the construction of an ADA compliant bathroom on the grounds. Linda Carpenter, owner of Alpenhorn, appealed the decision stating that limiting the number of guests will hurt her business. Her attorney added, “the restrictions are not needed and are overreaching”. The council chambers were filled with neighbors who objected to noise, parking issues, and party goers associated with a wedding business conducted in their neighborhood. After hours of testimony and discussion, the council voted 5 to 0 to uphold the planning commission’s original decision reaffirming the restrictions. Alpenhorn Bed and Breakfast, which is located at 601 Knight, near the Middle School in Big Bear Lake, will have 90 days to comply with the Conditional Use Permit in order to continue with weddings at that location. In addition, the council approved being a host city for Special Olympics athletes participating in the 2015 World Games scheduled for next summer. Also, conceptual approval was given for a Stanfield Cutoff parking lot which would provide the needed space for a bike lane on the...

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Trout Plant Today in Big Bear Lake

  Big Bear Lake, CA, Oct. 1, 2014 – 3600 pounds of Trout were added to Big Bear Lake this morning just in time for Troutfest this weekend. Overseeing the fish plant was MWD interim GM Mike Stephenson along with Big Bear lake Mayor Jay Obernolte, Mayor Pro-Tem David Caretto, and City Councilman Rick Herrick, as well as MWD Board members Maryann Lewis and Vince Smith. 600 of the 3600 pounds of fish are ‘trophy fish’ weighing at least 6 pounds each. Every year, based on the number of fishing licenses sold, the State will supply a certain number of fish to plant. MWD also grows and plants its own fish. However, due to the on-going drought and the higher cost of fish, those numbers were much smaller than in previous years. Because of the economic impact of fishing on the valley and specifically Troutfest weekend, the Big Bear Lake City Council decided to partner with the MWD in order to supplement the plant and make this years addition of fish to the lake as robust as in years...

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New Water Use Regulations Coming?

Big Bear, CA, Sept. 11, 2014 – Governor Brown is expected to sign several bills, approved by the state legislature, into law this month, requiring local agencies to set up long term groundwater management plans. These new laws would allow state and local governments to intervene in groundwater use if necessary. California draws close to 60 percent of its water from groundwater sources and is the only state in the Western United States without groundwater management laws in place. Some who rely on private wells for their water see the potential law as an intrusion on their property rights. However, supporters of the law point out that groundwater is all connected and must be shared in times of drought. The Big Bear area was identified as one of the more than 500 groundwater basins throughout California and ranked as a ‘medium priority’ basin. That means Big Bear may be required to form a local groundwater sustainability agency by June of 2017 who would then have to adopt a long term plan by 2022. This new agency would monitor all groundwater use including private wells and allow DWP and CSD to modify pumping in areas where supply has declined. Currently, Big Bear’s water use appears to be in balance. With a relatively low water use rate per capita and some water use restrictions already in place, Big Bear’s groundwater supply...

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