Tag Archives: City of Bishop

INYO RUN OFF

Inyo County Agencies unite to battle massive run off projected from record snowpack.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Amanda Parsons at LADWP, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is working proactively to prepare for the arrival of anticipated massive runoff water resulting from this year’s near record snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. These efforts are in partnership with Inyo County, the Inyo Sheriff’s Department, Bishop Police Department, Cal-Trans, Southern California Edison and others, as a member of the Inyo County Interagency Emergency Preparation team.

Work to prepare for the anticipated high water flows began in late February. The efforts have been assisted by an Emergency Declaration from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to allow LADWP to take immediate steps to protect infrastructure and aid in managing flood waters while also protecting public safety. Inyo County issued a similar declaration.

To maximize the beneficial use of runoff water to the fullest extent, LADWP is spreading water throughout the aqueduct system to replenish local groundwater aquifers. Current spreading is moderate and will increase as runoff occurs in larger quantities later this spring and summer. LADWP is also maximizing flows in the LA Aqueduct by lowering reservoirs to create more storage space for runoff water and supplying the City of Los Angeles with aqueduct water in place of purchased water and groundwater wherever possible to manage excess flows. Further, LADWP crews are hard at work preparing, cleaning, and repairing water conveyance ditches, spreading basins, sand traps, and other facilities located on City of Los Angeles property, areas controlled by LADWP, and along the Los Angeles Aqueduct, in order to manage the anticipated runoff. 

Water that exceeds what can be spread to recharge local aquifers and which does not make it into the LA Aqueduct system will end up on the Owens Lakebed, the natural terminus point for waters flowing down the Owens River. Once there, it will add to the existing 30 sq. miles of saline brine pools and is expected to cause significant flood damage to dust control infrastructure managed and constructed by LADWP over the past 17 years. These measures, spread over nearly 50 sq. miles of dried lake, have effectively reduced dust pollution in the area by 96 percent. Damage to these dust control areas may result in increased air pollution that could threaten the health of the public after the runoff evaporates in 12 to 18 months.

LADWP is also concerned by the potential of water overflow in and around the towns and communities of the Eastern Sierra and is actively providing assistance in preventing and controlling runoff that could impact the public. Emergency assistance will be provided on lands throughout the valley should flooding threaten the property of a partner agency or the public.

“Inyo County is no stranger to emergencies and disasters,” Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said. “Our resilience comes from a strong unified command made up of local, state and federal agencies as well as a public that is proactive in emergency preparedness. We continue to be grateful for our strong working relationships with our allied agencies, including Department of Water and Power, as well as with our residents.”

In order to keep the public informed of the steps being taken to manage runoff to the greatest extent possible and minimize the impact to dust control measures, LADWP will issue regular updates of its runoff management efforts.

Emergency Runoff Management Activities undertaken by LADWP as of April 11, 2017, include:

 

Water Spreading

Pleasant Valley to Tinemaha Reservoir –      23,500 acre feet (AF)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir – 7,600 AF

South of Haiwee Reservoir –                         5,200 AF

 

Total Spreading Water                                    36,300 AF

 

Maintenance and Construction Activities

Mono County

 

·         Crowley Lake will be lowered to 80,000 AF to make room for anticipated runoff. Current level – 107,000 AF

·         Completed Long Valley Dam and spillway inspections (Work will be ongoing)

·         Snow removal to better access Long Valley Reservoir Dam (Complete)

Currently very little work is being conducted in the Mono Basin due to heavy snow. Equipment is planned to be staged at critical structures and areas likely to see high water conditions, such as Lee Vining Intake and Rock Creek sand trap at Toms Place. This will take place once site conditions allow.

 

Pleasant Valley Reservoir to Tinemaha Reservoir

·         Applied for variance from Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams to raise Pleasant Valley Reservoir water level (Complete)

Work to repair and upgrade existing spreading ponds and diversion structures in the Laws/Five bridges area include:

·         Reinforce and increase size of pond berms to increase spreading capacity and durability. Installing additional head walls and diversion pipes and culverts to provide greater flexibility during spreading operations (90% complete)

·         Preparing to raise portions of patrol roads adjacent to the canals to provide additional free board and greater conveyance capacity in both the Upper and Lower McNally Canals. This work will provide the ability to spread over 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the nearby spreading ponds or to spreading areas located further downstream (Project starting this week)

·         Preparing portions of the McNally Canals East of Hwy 6 to accept water by mowing and cleaning (Complete)

Work on canals, ditches and ponds in the Bishop area include:

·         Cleaning the George Collins and the A.O. Collins Canals and repairing/replacing diversion and spreading structures (Complete)

·         Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Rawson Canal (Complete)

·         Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Ford Rawson Canal (Complete)

·         Cleaning and mowing Bishop Creek Canal (Complete)

·         Modifying irrigation ditches off Bishop Creek to maximize spreading potential (Complete – Additional work will be needed over the summer months to remove aquatic vegetation to maintain capacity in the canal)

·         Filling Farmers Ponds, located on the West side of Hwy 6, and installing new culvert and diversion structures to convey water to the ponds located on the East side of the highway (Complete)

Round Valley area work includes:

·         Hand crews cleaning all open diversions on Horton Creek and Lower Rock Creek (Complete –  Work will be ongoing in the area with both equipment and hand crews cleaning ditches, installing culverts and diversion structures to maximize spreading potential.)

Big Pine area sand trap and diversion structure work includes:

·         Cleaning the Baker Creek sand traps, diversion structures and ponds (50% complete)

·         Cleaning and mowing the Big Pine Canal (Complete – Further work will be needed throughout the summer to maintain capacity once aquatic growth begins to restrict flows.)

·         Tinemaha Creek and Red Mountain Creek diversions cleaned and marked. (75% complete – Further work will be needed to direct flows into existing catch basins and spreading ponds located in the adjacent areas.)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir

·         Repairing/rebuilding spreading basin infrastructure (70% complete – Able to spread in excess of 200 cubic feet per second at this time)

Work in the Black Rock Ditch area includes:

  • Rebuild/repair/replace culverts, check structures and distribution pipes (Complete)
  • Clean and/or repair distribution channels (70% complete)

Work in the Stevens Ditch area includes:

·         Mowing, cleaning and adding spreading culverts (Complete – Currently at 50% of capacity)

·         Prepare Thibaut area ditches and berms (Complete)

Work to prepare the two canals located east of the Owens River to divert imminent flow into the LORP includes:

·         Clearing McIver Ditch from East of Goose Lake to south of Mazourka Road (100% complete. Currently flowing 15 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

·         Clearing the Eclipse/East Side Ditch from Mazourka Road to south of Owenyo area (100% complete – Currently flowing 13 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) work includes:

  • Cleaning the Unlined section of the LAA (75% complete – Cleaning will be needed throughout runoff season)
  • Cleaning the Lined section of the LAA to the Alabama Gates (100% complete – Cleaning will be ongoing as needed)

Equipment Staging

  • All requested heavy equipment has been rented and received based on forecast needs. Equipment is performing preparation tasks, will be staged during spreading and cleaning operations.

Work to prepare the Lower Owens River Project (LORP) intake includes:

  • Cleaning the Forebay (Complete – Will need to be cleaned throughout the year.)
  • Cleaning the measuring section (Complete)
  • Jetting the Langeman Gate area (Complete)
  • Cleaning the LORP tail bay and 100 Yards downstream (Complete)

Continually preparing the alluvial fan creek diversions west of the LORP:

  • DWP lands:                                          95% complete
  • Bureau of Land Management areas:  70% complete
  • Forest Service areas.                                     100% complete

Owens Lake

 

·         Armoring of berms, northwest area Owens Lake (Work not yet commenced, in purchasing for contract award)

·         Construction of new trenches northwest area of Owens Lake (5% complete)

 

 Lower Owens River Pump-back Station (Pump-back Station) work includes:

·         Placement of temporary barriers, gravels, sandbags and related components around the Pump-back Station to protect it from inundation (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

·         Widen the path of water within the Lower Owens River across from the Pump-back Station through creating a temporary channel allowing for greater conveyance of water. This temporary measure is intended to prevent ponding of the water in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station and decreasing the potential for water elevation rising in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Lower Owens River Temporary Flow Modification work includes:

·         Placement of temporary barriers and related components to redirect the water away from the Corridor 1 Road and the T36 DCA northern berm. This temporary measure is intended to prevent inundation and damage to the existing managed vegetation area in the T36 DCA (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

·         Modify the east bank of the Owens Lake Delta and tamp down the existing vegetation (tulles) along east side of the Owens Lake Delta to improve water conveyance capability and create a preferred pathway (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Western High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipeline work includes:

·         Temporarily securing in place about 825 feet of the irrigation supply lines from T36 dust control area (DCA) to T37 DCA. This measure is intended to prevent the existing three, 18-inch-diamater plastic pipelines from potential floatation and damage (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)   

Zonal Mainline work includes:

·         Placement of temporary plastic lining and related components to protect the Zonal Mainline from damage due to inundation and erosion of the slope of westerly berm road, the Brady Highway, from wave action due to high winds (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

South of Haiwee Reservoir

·         As of 4/2/17, LADWP has discharged a total of 4,600 from the Los Angeles Aqueduct at three locations: Rose Valley south of Haiwee Reservoir, Freeman Wash west of Ridgecrest, and Cameron Wash north of Mojave.   

·         Working on reestablishing the Maclay Highline, which diverts LAA water to the Pacoima Spreading Grounds (20% complete)

·         Structuring the Power Plant One Slide Gate to place water into San Francisco Creek (Currently pursuing permits for this).

 

To request runoff preparation assistance, please contact Greg Loveland by emailing gregory.loveland@ladwp.com or calling 760–872-1104.

SIDEWALKS PROJECT

Spruce, Yaney, Hanby Sidewalks Projects under review

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Bishop’s Public Works Department, formal public review is underway on the environmental document for the City of Bishop
Spruce, Yaney, Hanby Sidewalks project. Comments on the document are due 24 April
2017 and a public hearing is tentatively planned for the City Council meeting at 6 pm
that evening.
The Spruce, Hanby, Yaney Sidewalks project is proposed to construct sidewalks and bike
lanes on streets in and near the back of the Bishop City Park. The $1.2 million project would
construct sidewalks and bike lanes on Spruce Street, Hanby Avenue, and East Yaney
Street in and adjacent to the City Park. In addition to sidewalks and bike lanes, the project
would extend the existing paved path near the community garden (the Pine to Park Path) to
the new sidewalk proposed for Hanby Avenue. The project is funded through the state with
gas tax funds. The particular funds used for this project are dedicated to bike and
pedestrian improvements and can only be used for those purposes. A more complete
description of the project is included in the environmental document or is available from
city staff.
The environmental document is available at City Hall and on the city website at
http://www.cityofbishop.com/departments/planning/environmental-documents/ The
environmental document for the project identifies and evaluates potential impacts the
project could have on the natural and human environment and proposes mitigations. All
comments are welcome.
For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at
publicworks@cityofbishop.com or 760-873-8458.

TOWN HALL MEETING

Bishop’s second annual Town Hall Meeting is coming up this month.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Elaine Kabala The Bishop City Council will host the Second Annual Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 starting at 5:30p.m. in the Tallman Pavilion located on the grounds of the Tri-County Fair.

The Second Annual Town Hall meeting is intended to follow-up on last year’s inaugural Town Hall meeting, which focused on expanding the dialog between the local business community and City Hall regarding the challenges of operating a small business in the Bishop area.

Over 100 interested business owners and residents attended the 2016 Town Hall meeting to voice concerns, provide input, and offer suggestions on strategies City Hall can pursue to improve the business climate in Bishop for entrepreneurs and local businesses.  Suggestions voiced by participants included making Bishop a year round destination, parking issues, expansion of Digital 395, downtown improvements, and investments in tourism infrastructure, such as trailhead shuttles.

This year’s Town Hall meeting is themed Your City: Working to Support Bishop Businesses.  Similar to the 2016 Town Hall meeting, all business owners and concerned residents are invited to come meet with local officials and provide input on strategies the City can undertake to support local businesses.  This year will also feature presentations from a panel of local agency leaders to provide updates on the progress that has been made to address the public’s suggestions from 2016 and upcoming projects.

The panel will include Tawni Thomson from the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Brent Green of Caltrans, Clint Quilter of Inyo County Public Works, and John Helm of Eastern Sierra Transit Authority.  City Council and staff will also be available to discuss projects being worked on by the City to support businesses in Bishop.  The discussion will be moderated by City Administrator Jim Tatum.

Participation is encouraged by all those interested in enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities region-wide, not limited to those either doing business or residing within the city limits of Bishop.

Although not required, RSVPs to ekabala@cityofbishop.com or 760-873-8458 would be greatly appreciated.  Questions regarding the Town Hall meeting may be directed to the same contact.

 

BLAKE JONES CANCELLED

Heavy water flow in the Owens River leaves no choice but to cancel the derby.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Tawni Thomson, The Bishop Chamber of Commerce regrettably announces cancellation of the 2017 Blake Jones Trout Derby which was scheduled for March 11th. A unique set of circumstances beyond the chamber’s control led to the decision.
On Friday, February 24th Los Angeles Department of Water and Power rescinded its permission to hold the event at Pleasant Valley Reservoir due to public safety concerns. Strong winter storms have caused extremely high water level in the reservoir and dangerously high water flows in the Owens River. The chamber immediately began working with LADWP, Inyo County, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife seeking other options. Millpond was suggested as a safe alternative; however, on Monday, February 27th CADFW informed the Bishop Chamber that Millpond is not a viable location. According to CADFW regulations, Millpond is not open to trout fishing this time of year.
“Since LADWP issued the public safety warning for PVR and the Owens River, and no safe alternative is available, the Chamber’s Executive Committee has no choice, but to cancel the event for this year,” explains Tawni Thomson, Bishop Chamber CEO.
This is not a decision taken lightly. The chamber had been making plans for many months and invested several thousand dollars in advertising and prizes. They also understand the financial impact to the local economy; however public safety must be the highest priority.
The 2017 event was to be the 50th Annual Blake Jones Trout Derby and the Bishop Chamber had many new and fun activities planned to celebrate the milestone. “We’ve decided not to view this as a total cancellation. We will still have the 50th Anniversary, it will just be in 2018,” says April Leeson, Chamber Event Coordinator.
While the chamber is disappointed, they are not upset with LADWP or CADFW. “It was wonderful to see representatives from all agencies working so hard to try to save the derby,” Thomson states. “We really appreciate everyone’s suggestions and sincere efforts.”
Preregistered derby contestants will have all fees returned. “It will take us a few weeks to process the refunds and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding,” explains Thomson.

 

BUILDING PERMITS

Inyo County and The City of Bishop now issuing building permits from the same place.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Michelle Rhew at the City of Bishop, Earlier this year Inyo County and the City of Bishop consolidated the
building permit staff for each agency at one location at Bishop City Hall.
The consolidation was done to improve service and reduce cost.
Inyo County’s Building and Safety staff are now based in the Public Works
Office at Bishop City Hall, 377 West Line Street. The county staff now
perform building permitting and inspection for the city as well as the county.
Inyo County Building and Safety staff are available during regular City Hall
hours, 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding city holidays.
They can assist with building permitting throughout Inyo County including
the City of Bishop.
Although the county staff has moved to city offices, they can still be
reached at the usual county phone number 760-873-7857. For projects in
the city they can be reached at the city phone number, 760-873-8458. Their
mailing address is the same as City Hall, 377 West Line Street, Bishop,
California 93514.
Inyo County and City of Bishop have appreciated the public’s patience
during the move to City Hall and appreciate patience as details of the
consolidation are worked through in coming months. Comments and
suggestions on building permitting and the consolidation are always
welcome by both agencies.

BISHOP PARKING

The City of Bishop looks to improve parking in the downtown area.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Elaine Kabala from The City of Bishop, The City of Bishop will hold an open house from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Wednesday March 1st to review the draft parking plan update being considered for implementation by Bishop City Council. The open house will be in the executive conference room in City Hall, 377 West Line Street. Community members are invited to drop in anytime during these hours to learn about the proposed parking update, provide feedback on the proposed plan or offer other ideas on how to make downtown parking better. Anyone concerned about downtown Bishop should attend.

The proposed parking plan update was developed based on input received from the public at the community workshop held in 2015. The parking plan update focuses on downtown Bishop, including City owned parking lots, and proposes modifications to timed parking spots, generally extending parking limits from two hour parking to three hour parking. In addition, the draft parking plan also identifies spaces appropriate for RVs, provides more spaces to accommodate elderly and disabled residents requiring ADA spaces, consolidates public safety vehicle parking, and allows for efficient enforcement by the Bishop Police Department. The parking plan update also proposes new standards for the City owned lot located on Sierra Street.

The open house will have maps that show the current parking situation and proposed parking modifications, as well as informational and comment sheet for public input on proposed parking plan.

Public participation is important to make the most of this process and the open house on March 1st in City Hall will be one of the best chances to have your voice heard in the process. If you can’t make it to the open house, come by City Hall to see the maps and provide input. The proposed parking plan maps are also available on the City’s website at http://www.cityofbishop.com/BishopParking2017.pdf . Input is welcome by phone and email as well. The open house will be followed by another workshop with City Council before changes are implemented. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at 873-8458 or ekabala@cityofbishop.com for more information about parking in downtown Bishop.

 

BISHOP CREEK TRANSIT

ESTA SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON POSSIBLE BISHOP CREEK ROUTE

By Seth Conners
EASTERN SIERRA TRANSIT
BISHOP CREEK SHUTTLE STAKEHOLDER MEETING
Friday, January 27, 2017 – 10:00am
City of Bishop Executive Conference Room
377 West Line Street, Bishop, CA

The Bishop Creek area represents one of the key recreation destinations for residents and visitors in Inyo County. Given the area’s popularity, Eastern Sierra Transit’s Short Range Transit Plan analyzed and recommended the possibility of providing summer seasonal service along Bishop Creek.

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority is seeking stakeholder input on the possibility of a shuttle service between Bishop and the Bishop Creek area. A stakeholder meeting will be held on Friday, January 27, 2017, 10:00am at the City of Bishop Executive Conference Room (377 West Line Street, Bishop, CA). Anyone with interest in the expansion of public transit is the Bishop Creek area is invited to attend. Comment will also be accepted by email: jbatchelder@estransit.com or by calling 760-872-1901 ext. 11.

Dedication set for Dick Noles Memorial

Dedication set for Bishop City Park Water Feature

June 3, 2016

The water feature at the Bishop City Park will be dedicated to the late Dick Noles on Saturday, June 18th.  The ceremony will begin at 10am and all are invited to gather and pay tribute to Dick Noles.  The water feature is located on the north side of the Park Pond.

noles park
City Park Water Feature during construction. Photo by Arnie Palu

Noles was a very active member of the community working on various projects including the adventure trails system, the clearing of local ponds, and installing handicap ramps.  Noles passed away on November 4th.   Dick is survived by his wife of 63 years, Pat, two sons, Rick and wife Bonnie of Lee Vining and David and Jeannie of Bishop, five grandchildren, Pete Noles, Garrett Noles, Kari Face and husband Dan, Kristin Noles, Kristi Houston and husband Will. Dick also has 4 great grandchildren, Cameron, Corbin, Riley and Aiden.

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State Relaxes Water Restrictions

California removes water reduction requirement

May 25, 2016
submitted by the City of Bishop Public Works Department

The State of California has removed the requirement that City of Bishop water users reduce water use by 25%. While it removed this primary water conservation requirement, the state left other requirements in place. The state had implemented water conservation requirements last year in response to the drought. The state is relaxing some requirements due to more precipitation last winter.

To meet the 25% requirement, Bishop had limited watering to only between 5 pm and 9 am. Since the state has eliminated the 25% requirement and since City of Bishop water sources are relatively unaffected by the drought, City of Bishop water users are free to
water at any time during the day. Watering during cooler times would still be suggested because watering during those times is more efficient and probably better for your plants.
The state left the following water conservation requirements in place:

No outdoor irrigation such that water runs off irrigated area.

No outdoor irrigation during and within 48 hours after precipitation

No washing vehicles unless hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle

No washing driveways, sidewalks, and parking areas

No decorative water features unless there is recirculation

Landscaping for new homes must follow state requirements

The city has a standing water conservation incentive program available to help its water customers save water. The program provides free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers and provides rebates for some sprinkler systems and water conserving appliances. The incentives are available only to water customers of the City of Bishop and are limited to one per customer account. Also, quantities of the free items are limited.

Also remember that landscaping needs less water now than in the heat of the summer. Tailor your watering to the needs of the plants and lawn to avoid over-watering. Saving water saves money, reduces water rates, protects groundwater, and is the right thing to do. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at  873-8458 for more information on water conservation and the City’s water system.

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Garden Time!

Bishop Community Garden plots Available

April 14, 2016

The Bishop Community Garden has gardening plots available for the 2016 growing season. The cost to rent a 10′ X 15′ patch of soil with water is $35 for one year. This is a UCCE Inyo & Mono Master Garden project in its sixth year. Master Gardeners will help you learn best growing practices. The garden is located in the back of the Bishop City Park behind Sterling Heights.

Contact Margaret Phelps at 760-872-6608 or email maggieme37@aol.com.

Cover photo from the Inyo Mono Master Gardeners.  For More information visit their website, http://ucanr.edu/sites/mginyomono/Local_Food_Resources/Community_Gardens/

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