The Lake Gregory Improvement Committee (LGIC) reported their progress at the recent meeting of the Crest Forest Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC). Supervisor Janice Rutherford was unable to attend, but her representative Lewis Murray was present. Members of the public came to a standing-room-only meeting, with about 50 people present in the conference room at the Crestline Sanitation District Office at 24516 Lake Drive, across from the lake.
Plans for the repairs and improvements to Lake Gregory did not raise any controversy, but proposals to generate more revenue resulted in heated arguments.
LGIC chairman Rick Dinon reported on the progress of improvements and repairs to Lake Gregory and the dam. The lake needs to be dredged, and the dam needs seismic upgrading. In addition, Lake Gregory Regional Park (LGRP) needs to generate more revenue because San Bernardino County can no longer subsidize the park from the general fund.
The County suggested cosmetic changes to the dam, but the California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) suggested several changes to the engineering plan submitted by the County. A future engineering evaluation and recommendation for repair will entail the analysis of three proposals and then an award of a contract. The dam got generally good marks at a recent spot inspection, but the report noted that vegetation needs to be removed, since Lake Gregory has an earthen dam that could be damaged by the roots of trees and shrubs. The County is working on grant proposals, which they plan to submit by March 12, 2012. An engineering proposal has been submitted for reconstruction of emergency outlet valves an piping that could drain the lake in the event of a major earthquake.
A preliminary project plan for physical dredging of the lake has been submitted. Dredging is planned to take place before the end of the year.
LGIC members, County staff and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) participated in an orientation walk around Lake Gregory. USACE did not notice any particular regulatory issues.
Dinon and LGIC member Mick Hill reported on plans to increase revenues to support Lake Gregory Regional Park (LGRP), since the County will no longer subsidize the costs of maintenance. A survey has been distributed to members of the community, and about 300 surveys have been returned so far. A meeting is scheduled for March 3, 2012, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the San Moritz Lodge, to report on progress to date and feedback from the survey.
The committee developed several recommendations, based in part on that survey, and those recommendations have been submitted to the County for action by May 2012.
LGRP needs to increase fees; other parks in the County have already increased their fees. In particular, the entry fee for use of the beaches needs to be increased from the current cost of $5. There was little disagreement with the plan to increase fees.
However, tempers flared when LGIC reported their recommendation for non-renewal of the lease of the community field (sometimes referred to as the “ball field”) to Rim of the World Parks and Recreation District (ROTWPRD). Their original lease ran for 25 years, and they have received two extensions of six months each. The current extension expires on April 30, 2012. ROTWPRD has been paying the nominal rent of one dollar a year to San Bernardino County Regional Parks (RP) for that lease, which the County can no longer afford to subsidize.
LGRP requires substantial new revenue to support continuing operations and maintenance, and ROTWPRD has provided no revenue. LGIC recommended that the management of the community field be turned over to San Bernardino Regional Parks (RP), the agency which manages the park as a whole, including the San Moritz Lodge, which plays host to a variety of indoor community events. The County has retained a public relations firm to develop a plan for building revenues through marketing and promotion of the park.
The County has also developed a volunteer program for community assistance at regional parks, and they will institute that program for volunteer maintenance at Lake Gregory in the