Boat launch, disc sales make $25,000 for city
After losing a good portion of its annual operating budget, the South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Department is finding other ways to pay for city needs.
According to parks director Steve Weiss, from mid-May to Sept. 30 the department grossed about $38,000 from fees charged at the El Dorado and Regan Beach boat ramps. About $20,000 of that sum was profit, Weiss said.
The department will use the profit to bring back the High Sierra Patrol, a division of the department which patrols city beaches, campgrounds, Bijou Community Park and the Recreation Center, Weiss stated.
The patrol will again be in full force from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Last summer, the patrol’s hours had to be reduced due to budget shortfalls.
Weiss said the department had noticed an increase in graffiti and other vandalism at the city beaches and parks last summer.
The High Sierra Patrol has the authority to issues citations for a number of different infractions, such as drinking alcohol in public and skateboarding without the proper safety gear at Bijou Park.
“We think it’s well worth it,” Weiss said. “The police can’t be everywhere.”
Weiss said the city will raise the one-day boat launch fee from $10 to $13 for non-El Dorado County residents. The fee will remain unchanged for resident day use and season passes for non-commercial use.
The fee for a yearlong pass for commercial or business use will be raised from $120 to $200. Weiss said the fee will be raised because they have discovered that those businesses who use the commercial pass use the boat ramps almost every day.
The profits, in addition to funding the High Sierra Patrol, will also go back into the department to help offset the costs of maintaining boat ramps at Regan and El Dorado, about $85,000 annually, according to Weiss.
The department has also been successful selling discs for disc golf and other disc golf paraphernalia, such as T-shirts and disc-carrying bags.
Weiss said Parks and Rec has grossed about $9,000 on disc golf sales with a profit of about $5,000 to $6,000. The surplus will go toward maintenance for Bijou Park, which houses Lake Tahoe’s first disc golf course.
Weiss said the city sells discs for $8, significantly less than one would pay at a sporting goods store.
The Parks and Recreation Department is suffering through a $100,000 budget cut this year, a result of the city’s Destination 2000 budget-cutting process.
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