City considers grants to spruce up Ski Run area |

City considers grants to spruce up Ski Run area

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The revamp of the Ski Run Marina area should coast a little closer to reality when the South Lake Tahoe City Council determines tonight whether to approve an application for state grant funding.

The California Tahoe Conservancy board will, in turn, decide Friday to grant $225,000 to the city for the first phase of planning.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m.

In May, the city, Conservancy and South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce organized a design charette — a brainstorming process — that invited four landscape design firms to compete for the job.

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The mission involves creating ways to open access to Lake Tahoe, make the Ski Run Village and the surrounding area more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, ensure the economic viability of the merchants, designate a public plaza and consider the sensitivity of the lake’s environment.

In the end, it was a Sacramento firm, EDAW, Inc., that won the business — partly because of a dominant environmental message in its conceptual development.

In its presentation, EDAW’s top designer, Sydney Coatsworth, used the bold idea of restoring streams in the Ski Run region. The “think outside the box” idea intended to give the harbor more of a lagoon feel.

A committee with representatives of the city, Conservancy, chamber, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Lahontan Regional Water Quality District chose the firm a month ago.

Bob Kingman, conservancy program analyst, said the decision was a difficult one.

“It was not so much the drawing elements. It was largely, in part, due to the firm’s ability to communicate, and the ability to make a presentation, and certainly the technical skills were considered,” Kingman said, adding the selection committee “felt EDAW was strong” from an environmental standpoint.

EDAW’s agreement is expected to be finalized in late August. The firm may employ subcontractors.

Public forums will be scheduled to get input from the community.

In other council business:

–The Lake Tahoe Airport’s strategic action will be presented during the 1:30 p.m. session that will highlight the airport’s viability.

–A second reading of the new city trash ordinance will be given at 6 p.m., which would enact laws that in the most severe of cases may involve property liens. The first reading was approved July 2.

–The issue of what contractor will build the Park Avenue Intermodal Transit Station project will be continued at 6 p.m. from the last session two weeks ago. The staff recommends SMC Contracting, Inc., despite its higher bid, because the lowest bidder’s business practices have been called into question.

–The level of enforcement appointed to the summer surge in illegal garage-sale signs will make the 6 p.m. agenda.

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