City Council approves creation of Parking Authority |

City Council approves creation of Parking Authority

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council on Tuesday voted to create a Parking Authority.

The main purpose of its creation is to allow for the Joint Powers Authority to continue operation. The JPA was created in 1989 to give participating agencies, including the city, assistance in financing capital improvement projects.

South Tahoe Redevelopment Successor Agency was also a part of the JPA but its existence will end in about 15 years. The JPA can’t exist without at least two parties, hence the creation of the Parking Authority.

In addition to keeping the JPA active, the Parking Authority will have the power to own, maintain, acquire, and finance public parking facilities.

Several members of the public expressed concern about the possibility of paid parking coming back to the city with the creation of this authority.

City Manager Joe Irvin assured the public that while the city is in need of a parking needs study, paid parking will not be an issue the authority tackles anytime soon.

Council voted 4-0 to create the authority, with Councilmember Tamara Wallace being absent. During the council’s next meeting, staff will bring back articles laying out the authority’s exact purpose and role.

Master Fee Schedule

The council also discussed changes to the Master Fee Schedule. Almost all facility rentals are seeing increases, with the exception of public showers and rentals for nonprofits and youth sports organizations.

Facility day use fees are not seeing increases nor are the swimming programs or use of the golf course. The ice arena is seeing a few increases.

Senior citizens have discounts for recreation use but Councilmember Cody Bass asked that veterans also be given discounts.

The majority of the increases are in the development services department for various permits. Councilmember John Friedrich said he’d like to see a greater increase in fines for trash, litter, unsuitable trash containers and putting trash out too early.

The item was a presentation only, no action was taken.

Storm drain pipe condition report

Council heard the results of the underground storm drain pipe condition assessment. The city has pipes made of corrugated metal, plastic and concrete. The focus of this study was to look at the metal pipes, since they are older and have a shorter life span.

The assessment looked at 220 pipe segments, which accounts for about 10% of the pipes in the city. The study found 33 pipes that had significant defects or had failed, the majority of which are in Tahoe Keys, Highland Woods and Lakeside Park.

Staff said they’d be coming back with a request for $400,000 to start work on the more immediate concerns this summer but they need about $2.6 million to replace all the failing and failed pipes.

The pipes will be replaced with plastic in most places but pipes along evacuation routes will need to be replaced with concrete due to the possibility of plastic melting in fire.

Irvin said the request will be coming to council during the mid-year budget adjustment, which is scheduled for March 15.

Fire Update

South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Clive Savacool presented the council with the 2021 annual report.

Savacool highlighted several difficulties the city faced. COVID-19 was still rampant in 2021 but SLTFR hosted several vaccination clinics, and vaccinated about 20% of the city’s population.

SLTFR also assisted with the Alisal, Dixie, Tamarack and Caldor fires. They were part of the strike teams for all four fires and for Caldor, they helped in other ways.

“We set up an information table at Safeway and talked with citizens about being prepared to evacuate safely and offered daily maps for the public to look at of the fire as it came closer to the Lake Tahoe basin,” the report stated.

They helped residents evacuate and protected homes.

“Every person had a role in this event. Some were on the front lines fighting the fight, others were behind the scene making sure the troops were fed, had what they needed, and spirits were high,” the report continued.

Overall, in 2021, SLTFR responded to 3,365 calls. The most calls were for emergency services (1,860), there were 512 calls for public assistance, 84 fire responses and 708 false alarms or others.

Savacool said the focus for the upcoming year will be fire prevention. Next week, they will be conducting interviews for the fire marshal position and they added two defensible space positions, all of which will help keep South Lake Tahoe fire ready.

They are also updating the emergency communication system.

“We are going to have, above and beyond, the best dispatch center in the area,” Savacool said.

While most citizens won’t see any day to day impacts from the updated system, they should experience faster response times.

Employee Recognition

New Regular City Employees:

Police Department

Kevin Schryvers – Police Officer

Jessica Neumann – Police Officer

Development Services

Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli – Associate Housing Planner

Service Awards:

Development Services:

Michelle Schoonveld – 5 Years’ Service

Police Department

Traci Trapini – 5 Years’ Service

Bonnie Harwood – 5 Years’ Service

Public Works

Joseph Nuckols – 5 Years’ Service

On the consent agenda, council approved the movable tiny home ordinance and a reimbursement agreement with South Tahoe Public Utility District for a water line replacement for the Bowers Project.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.

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