Chamber building’s future to be debated |

Chamber building’s future to be debated

With a turbulent backdrop of controversy in the business community, the future of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce building may be determined today by city leaders.

South Lake Tahoe government officials hold the lease at 3066 Lake Tahoe Blvd., where the 51-year-old California chamber has been situated for at least 20 years at $1 a year.

The current lease governing the property was signed last April with the idea the newly forming joint chamber would run an offshoot visitors center there. But there are restrictions. The occupant may not sublet the premises, and the city may give a 180-day notice for termination of the lease.

And given the council’s recent scrutiny of the Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce South Shore, that agreement may be in jeopardy. In response to a perceived Nevada dominance and criticism of the financial plan, the council voted two weeks ago to remove the chamber’s name from its marketing subsidy for the 2006-07 fiscal budget year. The joint chamber, consisting of the South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Douglas chambers, will go into effect Nov. 1 and include a move to Primm’s Edgewood Village building at the intersection of Kingsbury Grade and Highway 50 with the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

Councilman John Upton told the joint chamber in its meeting he could not support funds for the effort, and the majority of the council later sided with a move to make the chamber bid on the city’s marketing money along with other parties. With that, insurance agent and former chamber member Bob Attinger said he viewed the action as a chance for his proposed chamber to form.

Attinger has led the charge against the joint chamber. He filed with the California Secretary of State’s office, assembled a steering committee and kicked off a membership drive, he said Monday. The South Lake Tahoe’s chamber membership has shrunk to under 700, about 200 members down from its peak.

Critics of Attinger’s efforts contend the joining of forces makes the chamber stronger, and having the LTVA run the visitor center operation and not the chamber puts it into the hands of marketing experts.

But Attinger claims the transition team and those spearheading the drive have made “mistake after mistake.”

Meanwhile, the joint chamber’s new executive director, Betty Gorman, has settled in at the Tahoe Douglas office at Roundhill Square temporarily until the move. She said she was unavailable to discuss the matter Monday.

In other business, the council may hire an engineering consultant for $49,922 to develop the design of the Harrison Avenue bike trail project under a state grant through the California Tahoe Conservancy.

The South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency may also refinance the bonds on the parking revenue bonds in respect to the $6 million parking garage.

In addition, the council will have a chance to respond to El Dorado County’s recent agreement to drop its lawsuits against the Miwok tribe and its developer tasked with building an Indian casino in Shingle Springs.

If you go

What: South Lake Tahoe City Council

When: 9 a.m. today

Where: Council chambers, Lake TahÝoe Airport, 1901 Airport Road

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