A new committee of about 10 local residents has been constituted to develop a plan for the anticipated Idyllwild Community Center (ICC). The group, currently headed by Bill Sanborn, with Bill Lowman in the wings, began meeting, discussing and planning in July.

“We are a new group with renewed vigor,” Sanborn said with a smile. “We’re just beginning the process.”

In October and November, the group will hold several public meetings to solicit ideas and suggestions as well as engage more of the community in this endeavor, according to Sanborn.

The first two are tentatively scheduled for Thursday everything, Oct. 27 and Saturday morning, Oct. 29. A weeknight and weekend were chosen to try to attract as many permanent residents and second-home owners as possible. Sanborn said, “We hope we can get working people Saturday morning.”

This will be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the current status of the project. For those who attend, Sanborn hopes they will offer suggestions and ideas about what services and amenities that they hope the facility can offer residents and visitors. Debate over its merits will be deferred for future sessions, Sanborn hopes.

Two weeks later, Sunday afternoon, Nov. 13, the committee will invite the public to visit the site to gain a physical impression of the center and its location on the parcel. Tape or chalk will be used to show the outline of the structure and its interior, he said.

Sanborn acknowledged that many questions are still unanswered and those answers may take some time. The committee plans to examine many issues, such as financing, environmental, ownership and others.

While some issues and questions may remain open for a while, the committee has already begun to prepare some financial analyses. One will estimate the range of costs to operate the center depending upon the amenities that will be offered

“There’s no thorough analysis of the operation,” Sanborn stated. “No one knows the costs with or without a swimming pool. We’ll also look at the project itself, should it be built all at one time or in phases?”

Sanborn himself is reviewing the reports to the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health regarding the subsurface plume of hydrocarbons that has been drifting south on both sides of Highway 243.

The committee’s formal relationship with the Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC) is uncertain, but Dawn Sonnier, the ICRC acting chair, is a member of the committee and some of the original founders of ICRC, such as Diane Cardinalli, are also members.

Eventually, the committee expects to have its own website for the public to visit for information and pose questions, Sanborn added.