For those of you who are not aware, many years ago the residents of Idyllwild approved a tax measure that funded local recreation and some road lighting. Each year, property owners within the service area are billed $35 per parcel as part of their property taxes. 

This county service area is designated CSA 36. The special assessment generates about $120,000 per year. CSA 36 also receives ad valorem tax revenue, which is a portion of the county’s General Fund allocated to districts throughout the county. CSA 36’s allocation is roughly $70,000 per year. The average CSA 36 total annual revenue is roughly $190,000. The annual budget may go up or down with the economy and availability of other funds.

Management of the CSA operations, revenue and expenses is handled by the county, specifically the Economic Development Agency. EDA recently conducted a Request For Proposals to select a nonprofit organization to provide daily operations for the recreation component of CSA 36. 

It is the custom of the county government to establish local committees to ensure that CSAs are properly represented. In this way, the people being taxed can provide input on the level of service they would like to see. Toward this end, from time to time a CSA 36 Advisory Committee is established. (For a more complete history of these committees and their accomplishments, please refer to the archives of the Idyllwild Town Crier.)

In 2016, county Supervisor Washington recruited a new CSA 36 committee in order to create a link of understanding and better communication between his office and the constituents of CSA 36. While a CSA advisory committee does not have any administrative or operational authority, it is tasked with providing a forum for the voice of the community to be heard. Kathy Wilson, Wendy Read, Ginger Dangall, David Hunt and I were selected to serve.

Within the six months of the committee’s existence, many challenges were met. The venue for existing services came into question. A new nonprofit recreation operator was selected, and contracts for long-term services went into negotiation. These tasks were daunting to say the least, and I commend the CSA 36 members, who sought out public opinion, reached out to nonprofit organizations and explored every avenue possible to ensure the public was well served. 

2017 will not be without challenges of its own, but because of the care and consideration of too many persons to list, the services provided by CSA 36 will continue and expand. Currently, there are two open seats on the committee. If you are interested in representing the needs of the community as a CSA 36 committee member, please contact Legislative Assistant Opal Hellweg at OHell
[email protected]. or 951-955-1030.

The CSA 36 committee is scheduled to meet at the Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. Many important issues will be discussed at this meeting and introductions of the new operator will be made. I strongly encourage everyone within the service area to attend. The committee needs your support and guidance, and you need to know how your money is being spent.

John Metroka

CSA 36  Advisory Committee Chairman