County Service Areas 36 (Idyllwild) and 38 (Pine Cove), dormant since the beginning of the year, may be revived in September, said Riverside County Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone.
“We may not be seeing the same faces, and will be discussing how to rejuvenate them,” Stone said last Thursday.
For CSA 36, Stone said there needs to be a discussion of how it can contribute to the community’s recreational needs and augment what David Butterfield and his wife are doing to build a community center in town.
Several residents have written Stone recommending that the CSA 36 parcel fee of $35 should be canceled with the eventual completion of the community center. But Stone, who is no champion of taxes, said there should be no rash decision.
“We own Town Hall and it needs work,” he explained. “We could use some of the funds to refurbish Town Hall.” He believes the county can revive Town Hall just as was done with the local library.
“A lot came about from the commitment of the Friends of the library,” Stone said, describing how the community can garner support and drive results. “Their tenacity and effort demonstrated that my office needed to pay attention.”
While it may take time and phases, Stones foresees bringing Town Hall back to the condition it deserves.
Regarding CSA 38, Stone expressed concern over the apparent rivalry and contentiousness between the advisory committee and Idyllwild Fire. “That shouldn’t be the focus of its efforts,” he said.
Stone may attend some of the meetings to discuss how the community would like to use its reserves, which exceed $500,000. Originally approved to fund the volunteer firefighters at Station 23, very few are still part of the Pine Cove station.
Besides Stone’s thoughts about the focus of the two local CSAs, the county has reorganized how it will oversee these special districts. In September, CSAs with recreational responsibilities, including CSA 36, will be under the auspices of the county’s Regional Park and Open-Space District. Bill Brown, who has been the operational manager for CSAs, is already at County Parks Agency preparing for the fall transition. He will oversee operations of Parks, Community Centers, Recreation, and Streetscapes.
The other CSAs, including CSA 38, remain with the Economic Development Agency.