Board approves boat inspection fees for 2011 |

Board approves boat inspection fees for 2011

Matthew Renda

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board approved a fee structure Thursday that boaters must pay to have their watercraft inspected before entering Lake Tahoe.

The inspections aim to keep non-native species, like zebra and quagga mussels, out of the lake.

This year, all inspections will be conducted roadside. In previous years, boats could be inspected at lakeside ramps. Roadside stations include Northstar-at-Tahoe, Spooner Summit and Alpine Meadows.

TRPA must finalize permitting for other locations, before making them public, said Jeff Cowen, TRPA spokesman.

Fees are assessed on individual boaters according to the horsepower and length of the vessel, according to the TRPA governing board packet. Based on the 2010 fees, TRPA staff estimates that for the Tahoe Only stickers – which are distributed to watercraft launched exclusively on Lake Tahoe – 59 percent of boaters will pay the same fee in 2011 as in 2010, 32 percent will pay less and 9 percent will pay more, the packet states.

Regarding the Tahoe In and Out stickers – which are placed on watercraft that launch into Tahoe and other water bodies throughout the summer – 87 percent of boaters will pay the same, 7 percent will pay less and 7 percent will pay more, the packet states.

The fees are assessed in order to fund the inspections, according to the packet, but they only fund a portion of the overall costs.

If fees were to cover the full amount of inspections, the average fee would increase from $42 to $128 per year, according to the packet.

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