The Board of Supervisors got a jump on winter by unanimously approving the purchase of eight pieces of heavy snow-removal equipment.

The action provides the County Department of Public Works with $2.5 million to fund the purchase of up to four Large Front Loaders and four Skid Steer Snow Blowers with attachments to serve the Rim Communities, Angelus Oaks, and Forest Falls. The equipment will allow the county to immediately respond to natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, mudslides, and excessive snow.

The funding was made possible by the strong advocacy of State Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Redlands) and Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale).

“We are very grateful to Senator Ochoa Bogh and Assemblyman Lackey for this state budget funding,” Board of Supervisors Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe said when the County received the funding. “During the winter storm, these two extraordinary lawmakers helped bring state resources to help the county and our residents. This new equipment will greatly improve our capacity to respond effectively to natural disasters and emergency situations in the future.”

“This state funding is a long-term investment in public safety and emergency response for the mountain communities in my district. I’m glad to work with the County to ensure that we are fully prepared for the next big storm,” Ochoa Bogh said.

“I am pleased to deliver this state budget funding to the County so we can make sure we’re ready for any natural disaster that may befall our mountain residents,” said Lackey. “In such difficult mountain terrain – whether it’s a blizzard, wildfire, earthquake, or landslide – it’s essential to have the equipment on the mountain and ready to go to work. I hope this funding will help all residents in the mountains be better protected from future emergencies.”

Front loaders are critical during heavy snowfall to lift several feet of snow off roads, which cannot be removed with snow plowing. They can also be used during wildfires, flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Skid-steer snow blowers come with several attachments that allow them to not only effectively remove snow, but to also clear debris and excavate creeks and channels.

This investment will help ensure that appropriate equipment is in place to rapidly respond to future emergencies.


The feathered residents of the county’s Big Bear Alpine Zoo will soon be able to spread their wings because of action taken by the Board of Supervisors.

The Board unanimously approved the $30,720 Big Bear Alpine Zoo Bird Rehabilitation Aviary Project, which will allow large corvids (crows and ravens) and raptors (hawks, falcons, and eagles) to recover flight strength following rehabilitation. The aviary will allow rehabilitated birds to re-establish strength prior to their release, thus increasing their chances of survival in the wild.

The zoo offers injured and orphaned wild animals a safe haven while they heal or a permanent home if they are unable to survive on their own. However, the zoo does not have a bird aviary big enough to accommodate the flight of large birds. The Bird Rehabilitation Aviary Project will solve that problem.

The project, expected to be completed by the end of this year, will consist of grading the hillside, adding a small retaining wall, and building a flight aviary using salvaged cage panels from the previous zoo location.


Bloomington residents will have the Board of Supervisors to thank when they visit Kessler Park and experience the convenience of free high-speed fiberoptic internet service.

The Board unanimously approved allocating $79,750 from the Bloomington Community Benefit/Improvement Reserve to the Bloomington Recreation and Park District for internet services and related infrastructure improvements at Kessler Park. The project will feature a Wi-Fi main hub system with access points and high-speed fiberoptic internet service throughout Kessler Park.

Providing public Wi-Fi access at Kessler Park will empower the community with better services, especially those residents that cannot afford internet at home. “Having access to the internet is the key to success for students and the gateway to vital services for seniors and other vulnerable residents,” said Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., whose Fifth District includes Bloomington. “Income will no longer be a barrier for our residents who can visit Kessler Park.”

Additional County Update News – November 17, 2023

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