Elevation 6752'
The Official Newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake, CA
Elevation 6752', composed monthly by City Manager Frank A. Rush, Jr., is presented to keep our residents, property owners, investors, businesses, and visitors well-informed about the City of Big Bear Lake's issues, projects, and initiatives!
Issue #20-2 - Published July 17, 2020
Sign Up for Elevation 6752' -
The Official Newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake!
Thank you for checking out the second issue of Elevation 6752', the official newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake, CA! This brand new newsletter is presented to keep you well-informed about the City's issues, projects, and initiatives, and will be complemented by other public communications strategies in the future. The City Council, Planning Commission, City staff, and numerous others are all working hard to provide the highest quality City services, in a helpful and professional manner, and promote new public and private investment in our community - in order to enhance the quality of life and visitor experience - and we want to make sure you are well-informed about our efforts on your behalf!

The easiest way to stay-informed about the City of Big Bear Lake is to sign up for this new email newsletter. It's easy to sign up - simply visit https://www.citybigbearlake.com/ and click on "Text & Email Notifications" in the top center of the homepage. Simply click on the link, enter your name and email address, and you're all set. Signing up will ensure you receive the new Elevation 6752' newsletter each month, and also any special communications from the City of Big Bear Lake for emergency situations, special events, and more!

In addition to the new Elevation 6752' newsletter, you can also get the latest information from the City of Big Bear Lake via the following digital platforms:

  • "Like" us on Facebook - City of Big Bear Lake

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Please help us spread the word, and share this new City newsletter with your friends, family, other residents, property owners, frequent visitors, or anyone else who is interested in Big Bear Lake!
City Remains Fortunate to Experience Relatively Low Incidence of COVID-19
The COVID-19 emergency has been the City of Big Bear Lake's highest priority and primary focus for the past 4 months, and remains so as we continue to work hard to keep our community safe and maintain a strong local economy.

Although we've seen an increase in confirmed cases over the past few weeks, we remain fortunate to experience a relatively low incidence of COVID-19 in our community. In the City limits (as of July 17), there have been a total of 18 confirmed cases since mid-March, with 12 of these recorded since June 1 and that may still be "active" cases. This means that approximately 1 out of every 436 residents of the City may have an active, confirmed case of COVID-19.

Looking at the entire Big Bear Valley, there have been a total of 37 cases (as of July 17, including the City limits) since mid-March. A total of 28 of these cases have been recorded since June 1, and may still be "active" cases. This equates to approximately 1 out of every 785 residents of the entire Big Bear Valley. All of the currently infected individuals should now be self-quarantined and no longer mixing with the community at large, and the City wishes all of these individuals a full and speedy recovery.

The City continues to consider various strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community and assist our local businesses, and the City's efforts are reported multiple times each week in the City's COVID-19 updates. The City will continue to provide these updates as new information emerges, and encourages everyone who cares about Big Bear Lake to sign up to receive these regular updates on the platforms described above.
SR 330 Bridge Project Expected to Be Complete Within Next Few Weeks
Caltrans' contractor continues work on bridge railing and other improvements to the West Fork City Creek bridge on SR 330 just north of Highland, and this work is expected to be complete within the next few weeks.

This project has reduced SR 330 to one lane in this area since early April, and both lanes of traffic are expected to be back in operation by early August.

The City is glad to see this project coming to an end, and appreciates Caltrans' efforts to keep the critical roads leading to and from Big Bear in good condition!
Intersection Improvements at Cougar / Sonoma / Elm / Catalina Improve Safety and Aesthetics
A City contractor recently completed significant improvements to the intersection of Cougar Road / Sonoma Drive / Elm Street / Catalina Drive, resulting in a safer and more attractive intersection.

The new alignment better defines and segregates the Sonoma / Cougar intersection from the Elm / Catalina intersection, includes new curb and gutter, a new sidewalk along Elm, and the resurfacing of the entire intersection complex. The City is pleased to complete this improvement, and continues to evaluate other future improvements in neighborhoods throughout the City.

The project was constructed by Romans Construction, Inc., a Big Bear Lake contractor, at a cost of approximately $140,000. The project was funded by City street improvement reserve funds.
Stanfield Cutoff Trail Contract Awarded, Construction To Begin Soon
City Council recently awarded a contract for the construction of a new, segregated bicycle and pedestrian trail along the west side of Stanfield Cutoff, and this project will be constructed later this summer and fall. The approximately 1,600 linear ft. project is expected to be complete and open for public use by late October. The total project cost is approximately $1.3 million, and is funded by a combination of State grant funds and dedicated Measure Y capital improvement funds.

The project involves the shifting of existing vehicle travel lanes on Stanfield Cutoff slightly to the east, and the conversion of the existing western pavement shoulder into a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian trail. The new trail will be separated from motor vehicle traffic by a new guardrail, and an attractive new railing will be installed along the lake side of the new trail. The project also includes the complete resurfacing of Stanfield Cutoff, a new mid-causeway crosswalk, cut-outs to enable lake access, and the installation of other trail amenities. City staff are also currently exploring the construction of additional paved parking spaces and a new restroom facility near the intersection of Big Bear Boulevard and Stanfield Cutoff, and plan to present a recommendation to City Council in August.

The new trail will provide a direct, safe connection from Big Bear Boulevard to the existing Alpine Pedal Path on the North Shore, and will eventually connect to another planned new bicycle and pedestrian trail along Big Bear Boulevard and Sandalwood Drive next year. Once complete, bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel on a safe, dedicated path all the way from Big Bear Boulevard to the Solar Observatory and back. The City continues to place a high priority on the development of new bicycle and pedestrian trails, with a goal to connect these new trails to the Moonridge commercial area within the next few years!
Additional New Trail Planned from Sandalwood Drive to Stanfield Cutoff
The City Council has also authorized a contract for the construction of a new, dedicated bicycle and pedestrian trail along Sandalwood Drive and Big Bear Boulevard, and this new trail will provide a safe connection from Rathbun Creek (just north of Interlaken Shopping Center) to Stanfield Cutoff and the Alpine Pedal Path. The total construction cost is approximately $900,000, and is funded primarily by State grant funding, supplemented by dedicated Measure Y funding.

Due to permitting delays and the need to complete other City projects this summer and fall, the construction of this new segment is now scheduled for spring 2021, with a goal to have it complete and open to the public by late summer 2021.
FY 20-21 Budget Maintains Service Quality, Includes Conservative and Strategic Approach
The City Council adopted the City's FY 20-21 annual budget at its regular Council meeting in June, and the new budget covers the period from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

The total adopted budget across all funds is approximately $28.9 million. The FY 20-21 adopted budget includes sufficient funding to maintain existing service levels and quality, invests strategically in beneficial capital projects funded by grant revenues and other dedicated funding sources, provides resources to adequately maintain City infrastructure, and compensates City employees fairly. Most importantly, the FY 20-21 adopted budget is conservative, structurally sound, and thoughtfully considers the current economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19.

The General Fund is the largest component of the City budget at approximately $14.9 million. The FY 20-21 General Fund budget is nearly $1 million less than the FY 19-20 adopted budget, and reflects an intentionally conservative approach by City Council and City staff. Transient occupancy tax and sales tax revenues represent approximately 40% of the City's annual General Fund revenues (approximately $6 million annually), and these revenue sources are highly susceptible to the economic impacts associated with COVID-19. City staff have worked hard to control expenditures, and the new budget also includes significant changes to the organizational structure that result in additional savings.

The Sanitation Fund, which includes wastewater collection operations and is funded primarily by user fees, has an adopted FY 20-21 budget of approximately $5.9 million. The Refuse Fund, which includes all solid waste collection and disposal expenses and is also funded primarily by user fees, has an adopted FY 20-21 budget of approximately $3.35 million. The City's other significant fund, the Measure Y Fund, which is comprised of transient occupancy tax revenues earmarked specifically for beneficial capital improvements, has an adopted budget of nearly $1.3 million for FY 20-21.

City Council and City staff carefully monitor revenue and expenditures throughout the fiscal year, and are monitoring even more closely now due to COVID-19 impacts. Appropriate adjustments to the City's budget will be considered during FY 20-21 as necessary to maintain the City's service levels and quality and to maintain the City's solid financial position.
City Implementing New Organizational Structure to Focus Efforts, Reduce Expenses
The City is currently implementing a new organizational structure aimed at better focusing the City's resources on priority service areas, while also reducing overall expenditures.

Effective July 1, with the adoption of the City's FY 20-21 budget, the City's structure now includes five City departments reporting directly to the City Manager:

  • Public Services, which includes the City's street, wastewater, parks and facilities, snow removal, solid waste, capital projects, and engineering functions,

  • Planning and Inspections, which includes long-range and current planning, review of new development projects, building inspections, and business licenses,

  • Tourism Management, which includes the management and regulation of vacation rentals, collection of transient occupancy taxes, coordination of special events, and other code compliance duties,

  • Administrative Services, which includes finance, purchasing, and information technology services, and the management of the Performing Arts Center, and

  • City Clerk, which includes official record-keeping, human resources, and risk management services.

The City's law enforcement services are provided by the San Bernardino County Sheriff under contract to the City, and the local Captain also coordinates directly with the City Manager. The new structure also clarifies the City's relationships with other local government service partners, including the Big Bear Fire Department, the Department of Water & Power, the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency, the Municipal Water District, and Visit Big Bear.

The new structure specifically places increased emphasis on tourism management in an effort to strike and maintain the appropriate balance between residential quality of life and the tourism industry, both of which are essential to the City of Big Bear Lake's success. The new structure also places increased emphasis on the planning function, as it's critical for the City to engage the public, refine our collective vision for this community, and promote both high quality private investment and new public facilities that enhance the quality of life and desirability of our community. Finally, the new structure also emphasizes public communications, as it's important for the City to communicate effectively, honestly, and frequently with you - our customers!

The new structure results in total annual savings of approximately $600,000, and these reductions have been incorporated into the FY 20-21 adopted budget.
City Currently Recruiting for Two Key Leadership Positions
As a result of recent retirements and the City's new organizational structure, the City is currently recruiting for two key leadership positions:

  • the Director of Tourism Management, who will oversee the new Tourism Management Department and help the City Manager and City Council strike and maintain the appropriate balance between residential quality of life and the tourism industry, and

  • the Director of Planning and Inspections, who will lead the City's long-range and current planning efforts, oversee the development review process, and promote new investment that will enhance the quality of life and desirability of Big Bear Lake.

Both positions will be valuable members of the City's management team, and both are expected to foster a culture of continued improvement, exceptional customer service, and community cohesion.

The application deadline for both positions is Friday, July 24. To learn more about these positions and how to apply, please visit https://www.citybigbearlake.com/index.php/newsroom/news-events/322-employment-opportunity .

If you know a well-qualified individual who is committed to making Big Bear Lake a better place, and who wants to work and live in a beautiful natural environment, with a great team of City employees, please encourage them to apply!
4 Miles of City Streets to Be Rehabilitated / Resurfaced in Coming Months
City staff, our partners, and our contractors will be working hard in the next few months to improve approximately 4 miles of City streets.

Various street segments will be improved, including approximately 1.1 miles of street segments that will be completely reconstructed, along with another 2.9 miles that will be milled and resurfaced in conjunction with water line replacement work coordinated by the Department of Water & Power. The result will be a smooth travel surface, improved quality, and enhanced longevity, and is part of the City's overall goal to develop a regular, disciplined street improvement program.

The City maintains approximately 90 miles of public streets, and is working to earmark funding, leverage partnerships, secure grant funding, and plan accordingly to improve at least 4.5 miles of City streets annually. This goal reflects a 20-year lifespan for each street segment.
City Working to Secure Grants, Develop Responsible Financing Plan for Moonridge Corridor Project
The City continues to work hard to make proposed improvements to the Moonridge Road commercial corridor a reality in the not-too-distant future!

The proposed Moonridge Road project includes the realignment of Moonridge Road between Elm Street and Club View Drive, the construction of two new roundabouts to improve traffic flow and safety, a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian trail, parking improvements, storm water improvements, new medians, new bus stops, new crosswalks, and more, and will significantly enhance the aesthetics and atmosphere of this area.

The total estimated cost of the project is approximately $6.7 million, and the City has already secured a $1.5 million grant commitment. City Council recently authorized two new State grant applications that will be considered in early 2021, and, if awarded, the project would likely begin construction next summer. In addition to seeking any and all helpful grant funding, City staff are also evaluating other financing strategies to enable construction to proceed in 2021, or 2022 at the latest.

The proposed project is expected to completely transform this area of Big Bear Lake, and the City seeks to create an ambiance and environment similar to that of The Village in this area!
Help Us Make Sure Big Bear Lake is Fully Counted!
Complete the Quick 2020 Census Questionnaire Online
The 2020 Census is now underway, and the City of Big Bear Lake needs your help to make sure all of us in Big Bear Lake are counted! An accurate census count makes a huge difference in the amount of Federal and State funding distributed to California, San Bernardino County, and Big Bear Lake, and also determines how much representation we have in Sacramento and Washington, DC!

This year, it's SIMPLE to make sure you are counted - all you need to do is visit https://2020census.gov/ and complete the short questionnaire. We're only looking for about 10 minutes of your time, and you can even complete it on your smartphone - it's that easy! If you are a permanent resident of Big Bear Lake OR if you are a second homeowner in Big Bear Lake who spends more than 6 months and 1 day per year at your home in Big Bear Lake, PLEASE take the time to complete the questionnaire.

The 2020 Census questionnaire is live now, so please do your part and help us maximize the funding allocated to our community and maximize our representation - so that we can do the best possible job serving you!
Council Member Bill Jahn Leaving City Council After 16 Years of Dedicated Service
Council Member Bill Jahn recently announced that he will step down from the Big Bear Lake City Council later this year after 16 years of dedicated service to our community. Council Member Jahn will complete his 4th term later this year, and has been a strong and effective advocate for the people of Big Bear Lake throughout his time in City government.

Council Member Jahn served as Mayor five times over the past 16 years, and has been active in numerous regional organizations, including serving as the President of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the San Bernardino County Transportation Transit Authority, and the League of California Cities' Desert Mountain Division. He was heavily involved in numerous local and regional transportation initiatives, and his dedicated efforts have resulted in the construction of a number of public trails and infrastructure improvements, as well as projects like the reconstruction of The Village.

Council Member Jahn looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Mary Jo, and his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He and Mary Jo also plan to travel throughout the United States.

The City of Big Bear Lake thanks Council Member Jahn for his dedicated service to the City of Big Bear Lake, and wish him the very best in the future!
Election Nomination Period Now Open
The November 2020 election includes two seats on the Big Bear Lake City Council, representing District 1 and District 5 (map available here).

The nomination period is now open, and continues through August 7, 2020. To learn more, please visit https://www.citybigbearlake.com/index.php/newsroom/news-events/333-2020-municipal-election-november-3-2020 , or contact Erica Stephenson, City Clerk at 909-866-5832.

In the past, City Council members were elected at-large by all voters in the City limits. The 2020 election is the first election by district for the City of Big Bear Lake, and candidates must live within the district boundaries, and be nominated by and elected by registered voters in the district.
Sign Up For Big Bear Chamber of Commerce's New 2HQ Newsletter
The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce recently launched 2HQ, a new newsletter for Big Bear second homeowners.

The new newsletter is specifically aimed at assisting second homeowners with helpful information on everything from property management, property maintenance, local news and issues, community insider tips, and more!

To subscribe, simply email the Chamber, and they'll get you signed up!
Did You Know?
The City owns and maintains more than 800 free public parking spaces in and around The Village.

There are a total of:

  • 96 on-street parking spaces along Village Drive and Pine Knot Avenue,

  • 89 parking spaces in the Indian parking lot between Village Drive and Cameron Drive,

  • 282 parking spaces in the Bartlett Road parking lot,

  • 159 parking spaces in the Knickerbocker Road parking lot,

  • 100 parking spaces in the Pennsylvania Avenue parking lot,

  • 49 parking spaces at Veterans Park, and

  • 30 parking spaces in the Alden Road parking lot.

Parking is often readily available in all of these lots, and all of our residents and visitors are encouraged to use these free public parking lots!
City of Big Bear Lake
39707 Big Bear Blvd. PO Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Phone: (909) 866-5831 | Fax: (909) 866-5491