City Council Meet |

City Council Meet

The South Lake Tahoe City Council unanimously approved a contract Tuesday that would extend weather and air traffic control services at Lake Tahoe Airport until Sept. 30.

The Council approved the $30,023 deal with Weather Data Services, a division of Maytag Aircraft Corporation, while noting that strong measures must be taken toward establishing general aviation and possibly even commercial air service.

“I want to see plans and results. I think we’re putting Band Aids on wounds that need more attention,” said Council Member Brooke Laine. “We can’t assume that commercial service is going to happen. We need to start seriously looking at general aviation.”

Between April 1, 1998 and February 28 of this year, the city has been under contract with the Federal Aviation Administration for their weather observations, and Barton Air Traffic Control International for their air traffic control services. Both these agreements, which expired Sunday, have enabled the airport to have tower service during the ongoing negotiations with airlines for renewed air service.

The cost for the seven month Weather Data Services contract could be partially covered by state grant funds and rent payments from the Housing and Economic Development Division. The balance, $14,366.55, will most likely be drawn from Transient Occupancy Tax subsidies. Exact sources for the funding are yet to be determined.

“This is certainly something we can fund through September,” said Kerry Miller, city manager. “But the fact remains that FAA can terminate our contract at any time.”

That seems highly unlikely, according to Airport Administration Assistant, Janis Brand.

“Weather Data Services doesn’t believe FAA will terminate service prior to September 30,” Brand told the council. “My understanding is they’re just tired of us irritating them all the time.”

In further business, the Council issued a proclamation honoring former District V John Upton for 25 years of outstanding public service. Upton is currently heading-up the school bond Measure C committee for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

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