KINGS BEACH, Calif. - Plans are nearing the next phase in the proposed creation of an approximately two-mile shared-use path as part of a larger effort to better connect the North Shore's trail system, officials said.The proposed 2.2-mile Dollar Hill Regional Bike Trail - located between the intersection of Dollar Hill Drive and Highway 28, near the 7-Eleven and the end of Fulton Crescent Drive just east of Tahoe City - would cross land owned by the North Tahoe Public Utility District and California Tahoe Conservancy. The project is all part of a long-term effort to fill the eight-mile trail gap between Kings Beach and Tahoe City."Like any project in the basin, there's a lot of planning that goes along with it to get a project on the ground, and we're definitely not there yet," said Peter Kraatz, deputy director of Placer County's Department of Public Works, who gave an update on the trail to the NTPUD board of directors Tuesday in Kings Beach.The project is still in the environmental analysis phase, he said, which looks at the trail's potential impacts, as well as land use compatibility. The environmental document, amendments to plan area statements and the issuing of a conditional use permit need to be formally approved by both the Placer County Board of Supervisors and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency before the project can move forward.The project will go before Placer County supervisors for a vote on Oct. 23 in Auburn, Kraatz said, while TRPA will likely not see the project until early next year."The purpose (of the trail) is to connect to the existing trail network that's out there and really encourage people to travel and transport themselves in a healthy, non-motorized way," Kraatz said after the meeting.The trail would allow the public to travel to Tahoe City, north to Squaw Valley and south to Homewood on the existing trail network.If approved, the design phase begins, Kraatz said. Part of the design could include a 6-foot-wide decomposed granite (DG) pathway for the first few hundred feet at the Fulton Crescent Drive trailhead, instead of a 10-foot-wide paved pathway, based on Cedar Flat community feedback."For a road biker, you're going to make them go across DG?" asked board Director Tim Ferrell."We're trying to be sensitive to what we're hearing from the neighborhood," Kraatz responded. "It's not set in stone that we would do that."As for funding, that's "the elephant in the room," Kraatz said. He suggested applying for grant funding to construct the trail, and for the district to take over responsibility of operations and maintenance if it gets built, based on the facilities the district currently maintains."Generally, in the world of Tahoe, it's about a $1 million a mile for a trail, depending on the land and the topography," Kraatz told the board. "(Operation and maintenance) is really coming from (the district), and it tends to be $10,000 per mile for a year."To learn more about the project, visit the following link: http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Works/Projects/DollarCreekBikeTrail.aspx
Also at Tuesday's meeting, six employees within the North Tahoe Public Utility District were recognized by the board for their years of service and detection. Those recognized were: five-year employees Janine Dougan and Mary Moreno; 10-year employee Jason Dicey; 15-year employees Paul Sandhofner and Kathy Giebel; and 20-year employee Marianne Potts.