The City of Bishop held a special meeting Wednesday where key members of the City discussed future projects.
Out of a total of thirty-six items, the city employees and council members were asked to rank the projects and goals they would like to see done in order of importance.
The top ten list of most important issues Bishop ranked are as follows:
- A vacant building property tax
- Broadband internet access
- Making Main Street more walkable
- Implementing a mandatory semi truck route outside of Bishop
- Banning flavored tobacco and vaping products
- Update sign ordinances in Bishop
- Redevelopment of Kmart
- Creating a strategic plan for city facilities
- Creating a strategic parking plan.
Some of the items were discussed in depth more than others.
Councilman, Stephen Muchovej, expressed a desire for the City of Bishop to look at long term goals. He highlighted some of the aging infrastructure as something that needs to be addressed. Properties Muchovej would like to see upgraded include City Hall and the Bishop Police Department building.
One item that received a large amount of attention was the idea of a vacant building property tax, which some members of the council seemed keen on. The proposed property tax’s aim is to forbid companies like Vons, who own surrounding properties next to its business to not sit on a property and leave it vacant. Bishop hopes that by taxing property owners who do not develop businesses, they will create an incentive for land holders to bring in stores.
Ensuring faster internet speeds was another important talking point. Council members discussed the “Digital 395” effort, which is a project that started in 2014. The project saw over 583 miles of high-speed fiber optic laid from Barstow, CA to Reno, NV. The project has allowed for residents in the Eastern Sierra to have access to gigabit broadband.
However, at this time Bishop is not an area with that capability because internet provider, Suddenlink Communications say they still need to put in a piece of equipment that costs about $1,000,000. Bishop’s intended goal is to nudge that process along.