Amphitheatre concert planned for June

Construction of the amphitheatr on the Idyllwild Community Center site has begun. Depending upon the weather for the rest of winter and spring, it should be the location for the 2019 Idyllwild Summer Concert Series.
Photo courtesy Janice Lyle, ICC president

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the County Service Area 36 (Idyllwild and Fern Valley) Advisory Committee heard presentations from Bob Lewis, director of the Idyllwild Community Center recreation programs, and from Janice Lyle, president of the Idyllwild Community Center board, also known as the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center.

Lewis discussed the current recreation programs and his plans for late winter and spring. Lyle discussed the recreation budget and status of construction at the ICC site.

In December 2016, Riverside County awarded a contract to ICC to provide the recreation programs in Idyllwild for CSA 36.

Lewis shared that the current programs, such as Jazzercise, pickleball and the kinder, are all doing fine.

He is planning to offer some incentives, such as two free days, in an effort to grow the kinder program. 

Youth basketball has started. Lewis said there are two four-team divisions. This is the first time in several years with eight teams, he added.

In early February, a T’ai Chi Ch’üan class will begin. Later in the month, he expects ping pong games to begin.

Later in the winter or spring, “Fit After Fifty” classes will be offered. He has made a presentation to the Idyllwild Rotary and already is developing a list of interested participants.

Lyle then presented the recreation budget for last year (2018) and this year, which began Jan. 1. The ICC fiscal year is January through December.

Phase 1 construction at the ICC includes the site development, such as roadways around the site and parking areas. Here. one can see the aggregate and paver installation for the upper parking lot.
Photo courtesy Janice Lyle, ICC president

In 2018, ICC collected about $250,000 for and from recreation activities, of which nearly 70 percent came from the county contract. Sources for the other revenue were rental income and fees from youth programs and sports.

Expenses were about $238,000, leaving a balance of $11,700 as a reserve. Obviously, the largest expenditure was salaries, wages and benefits. This was followed by the cost for individual sports, such as uniforms and equipment.

The projected budget for 2019 is $248,000, with a net balance of $5,200 at the end of the year.

CSA 36 has revenues of about $230,000 annually. This is a combination of a small percentage of the local property tax and an explicit parcel fee of $35.

As of the end of December, only $30,000 in revenues had been collected. But the CSA 36 carryover balance was about $248,000. On July 1, when the county fiscal year began, the CSA 36 balance was $218,300.

“The ICC mission is to provide the best possible recreation, cultural and social program and events for the town,” Lyle told the committee. “We try to listen to the people for new ideas. We’re not always successful, but we constantly do try new programs.”

She enlisted the committee to also seek suggestions for new activities and share them with the ICC staff.

In January 2017, ICC received approval from Riverside County for its conditional use permit to begin construction on the site. After some added studies and preliminary preparation, the construction of Phase 1 began in May 2018. 

Phase 1 is site development, including roadways and parking, and the amphitheater. Loie and David Butterfield, who donated the site, also contributed the funds to complete Phase 1, Lyle shared with the committee.

Lyle was optimistic that site development would be completed before spring and the amphitheater in May, in time for an opening concert on June 22 and to host the summer concerts this year.

Before adjourning, committee member David Hunt raised a question about street lighting. CSA 36 has responsibility for both recreation and street lighting. He noted that there were to be 19 streetlights, illuminating the Idyllwild business area, but there are only 18. 

Apparently, the missing streetlight is supposed to be on Highway 243 near the entrance to Idyllwild Pines, opposite the highway from the Help Center. Hunt also raised this question in January 2018 and has not yet gotten it resolved.