Longtime Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC) board member Linda McCaughin submitted a resignation letter dated Dec. 27 that became effective Jan.1. Vice President and Acting Chair Dawn Sonnier informed the board of McCaughin’s resignation at it’s Tuesday, Jan. 12 meeting. With McCaughin’s departure, ICRC is back to a board of five out of seven, with three of the five being recent appointees.

ICRC’s finances took a positive turn this fall. Sonnier announced ICRC has paid all its remaining bills from its county recreation tenure, which totaled almost $40,000. When its recreation contract with the county ended on June 30, 2011, ICRC had a cash balance of nearly $5,200. Last month, besides paying off its July bills, ICRC gave the county a check for over $5,000.

The newly found liquidity was not the result of Riverside County reimbursing ICRC for any of the $29,000 ICRC billed the county in July.

Left undocumented in existing financial reports, was how a long-discussed $20,000 advance from the county, dating from the 1990’s, had now appeared.

“The $20,000 [advance from the county dating from the 1990’s] was there all along,” said new Director Claudia Posey, who had previously served on the Town Hall recreation staff.

“It [the advance] was always there and now we’re proven it,” said Sonnier, Neither Posey nor Sonnier addressed why there had been so many conversations throughout 2010 and 2011 between ICRC and the CSA 36 Advisory Committee about whether the advance existed as anything other than a line item. Also unaddressed were numerous joint meetings with CSA 36 about crafting a workable repayment plan. Finally, the County Economic Development Agency forgave the advance, concluding that the money was no longer in ICRC Town Hall Recreation accounts.

In other business, Director Posey said that ICRC’s insurer for the skate park confirmed the park could be insured as “unattended,” without staff, for only $400 more through the existing term ending Aug. 31. Posey explained that there were many municipalities and Community Service Districts that operated “unattended” skate parks. Posey made no formal proposal and just presented the information for future board consideration.

Ted Ewing, program and curriculum director at Idyllwild Pines where the skate park is located, said the camp is interested in working with ICRC to assist local teens. “We’re looking for opportunities to partner with the community,” he said.

The board expressed ongoing frustration with the fact that the independently operated ice rink on the ICC property still had not opened and noted that its agreement with operator Gary Steven required vacating the property by April 1. “We’re very concerned and we have a lot of questions,” said Sonnier. To date ICRC has paid for both electricity and water used by Steven. Sonnier noted he would be billed. As of this writing the rink has still not opened, no personnel are evident on the site, and no skate-worthy ice has formed. Sonnier and board are still in conversation with the proprietor regarding the future.

Prior to her exit McCaughin prepared an “Annual Report” for the period from July 2010 through June 2011. She noted significant changes in the board’s composition. Five directors left the board during this period. McCaughin’s report also highlighted the varied community uses that the Idyllwild Community Center site serves.

With the loss of the county recreation contract at the end of July, ICRC, who holds title to the property, remains focused on building the Idyllwild Community Center Playground, and maintaining the existing Par Course, the Idyllwild Skate Park and Dog Park.