Management of local recreation programs will formally return to the Hill beginning in January. Since 2011, when Riverside County canceled its contract with the Idyllwild Community Recreation Committee, the oversight for local recreation was managed either by the county’s Economic Development Agency or the Open-Space and Park District.

On Monday, Dec. 18, EDA awarded an operating agreement for the Community Service Area 36 (Idyllwild and Fern Valley) to the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center, according to Michael Franklin, EDA’s project manager for CSAs. (SJMCC is overseeing the building of the Idyllwild Community Center.)

“A 90-day MOU [memorandum of understanding] goes into effect on January 3, 2017, while a formal agreement is routed for approval by the Board of Supervisors,” Franklin wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “CSA 36 will contribute $180,000 annually from the CSA 36 Special Assessment toward operations.”

Janice Lyle, president of the SJMCC board, called this action a positive step and a creative solution to recreation on the mountain.

“We expect to receive the draft agreement this week and will be working to implement the transition on Jan. 1,” she said. “As a local nonprofit, ICC is poised to assume management of the CSA 36 funding for the purpose of delivering quality recreation programs to mountain residents and visitors.”