City approves spending to limit impact of Angora runoff |

City approves spending to limit impact of Angora runoff

Adam Jensen

Concerns that stormwater runoff from the Angora fire burn area could harm city infrastructure or cloud Lake Tahoe prompted the South Lake Tahoe City Council to hold a special meeting Friday.

At the meeting, the council approved using $114,999 in city funds and nearly $300,000 in California Tahoe Conservancy grants to limit impacts of the runoff.

City officials are worried about above-average storms overwhelming city infrastructure and causing significant amounts of sediment to reach Lake Tahoe.

“One storm that has a lot of runoff could potentially carry contaminants into the lake,” Mayor Kathay Lovell said Tuesday. “We’re trying to be very proactive and really having someone who is extremely qualified do an analysis.”

To that end, the city council approved $50,000 for Kennedy/Jenks Consultants to analyze the burned area and review current Angora fire studies, including a recent report commissioned by the California Conservation Corps. The report was inconclusive how runoff could affect city facilities, according to a report by city staff.

Kennedy/Jenks is already under contract to provide the city a stormwater management plan required by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Also at Friday’s meeting, the council approved $24,999 for work by the California Conservation Corps for sandbagging and channel clearing near the area burned by the Angora fire, and $40,000 to Liquid Innovations for water-quality monitoring on city property.

The council also approved the use of a $274,000 grant from the California Tahoe Conservancy. The funds will be used to increase storm drain inlet capacity above 712 Gardner St. and pay for constructing a stormwater treatment basin to slow debris flow near the intersection of Viking Way and Lake Tahoe Boulevard before flows enter the city system.

South Lake Tahoe will undertake work on the city right-of-way, but other of the planned projects would be on private land, a Lake Tahoe Unified School District parcel, and U.S. Forest Service parcels.

Authorizations will be required from property owners before work can commence. City staff will meet with residents this week to discuss their plans and gain approval, Lovell said, and work is expected to commence Monday.

Although she said the California Tahoe Conservancy funds effectively implement interim projects, long-term efforts to limit further damage from the Angora fire will require additional funding.

“There remains an unmet need of $1,081,869 in order to complete the work plan developed to date,” according to a report from city staff. “The other possible funding sources include the Water Quality Mitigation Funds being held by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and possible funding through the California Office of Emergency Services. City staff is also reviewing other mitigation options in order to reduce costs.”

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