On Monday, April 9, according to Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce Director Lanny Hardy, chamber directors signed a lease with the Riverside County Economic Development Agency for use of Town Hall. The rental terms are similar to those under which ICRC had previously operated County Service Area 36 recreation, with the addition of insurance and liability provisions requested by Riverside County counsel.

“There were several items that needed to be worked out, including some questions about insurance coverages — who was responsible for what and how the premiums would be handled, etc.,” said Hardy explaining the Chamber’s delay in signing a lease. “Plus, there were a couple of new directors, myself included, that hadn’t had the opportunity to meet and talk with Bill [Brown, CSA operations manager]. We’ve done that now and I think it went very well and we’re looking forward to a productive working relationship with improved communication.” Since taking over the Idyllwild recreation contract on Aug. 1, 2011, the Economic Development Agency has been operating the recreation program without a signed Town Hall lease.

With the lease signed, according to Brown, the county can now make capital investments in the Town Hall property it had not been able to do without a signed lease.

Although Brown noted he had not yet received the signed lease, he is prepared to work with local staff on improving the site. “I have assigned GeGe Beagle [Idyllwild recreation manager] to work with the chamber and Rotary to get approval before the county removes the existing playground from Town Hall. [County inspectors had closed the playground for reasons of cited safety and code violations.] A new playground will not be built with county funds until the lease is signed and we have worked out other aspects of how building improvements are valued.”