City moves toward curbside cannabis pickup; Approves new communication system


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council on Tuesday took the first step towards approving curbside pickup for cannabis dispensaries.

The council received the annual cannabis business review during which it heard from all five permit holders.

The businesses are required to pay a 6% community benefit fee. In 2019/20 the city collected $850,000 from that fee and in the first few months of 2020/21 they collected nearly $100,000.

Each of the owners spoke to need to have curbside pick-up. Curbside pick-up is allowed temporarily under California’s emergency COVID order so the council decided to follow the state’s lead.

City staff will bring back the order at the next meeting. The council also would like to know about the possibility of extending the rule after the pandemic is over.

Councilmember and Tahoe Wellness Center owner Cody Bass recused himself during the discussion.

During the meeting, Police Chief David Stevenson gave a short update on a police oversight committee. His recommendation was a community advisory committee that would work with the department while remaining independent.

Staff is going to continue researching and developing the committee and will come back to the council in the next few months.

Also during the meeting, council approved the purchase of a new public safety communications system. At its planning meeting in 2019, council made replacing the communications system one of its top priorities.

“The current communications system our public safety, and public works employees use is old and can fail in moments where time is of the essence,” said Mayor Tamara Wallace in a press release. “Today’s action by council shows that we are committed to having the tools city employees need to keep our residents and visitors safe.”

The city is paying $441,129.25 for the contract with Walker Telecomm. The funds will be returned to the General Fund when financing has been approved. This communications system will be paid for from Measure S funds.

“Ensuring adequate public safety was the number one reason voters approved the one-cent sales tax, Measure S, when it was on the ballot in November,” said Irvin in a press release, “This step is only possible because our tax-payers recognized the value of public safety and the city couldn’t be more thankful.”

The total cost of the project will be around $5 million, and the financing of the system will be discussed by council on Jan. 5, 2021.

“Right now, there are times we are fighting fires, and police are chasing criminals, and when we walk into a building, we can’t communicate with our colleagues outside,” said Battalion Chief Jay Manning. “This isn’t just problematic, it’s dangerous. This new system will go a long way toward keeping our public safety employees, public works employees, and everyone else safe.”

The council also decided on board and subcommittee appointments.

The next meeting will be held on Jan. 5.

City Council Board Assignments

California Tahoe Conservancy – Wallace Alternate – Creegan

City Select Committee – Wallace

El Dorado County LAFCO – Bass

TRPA Governing Board – Friedrich Alternate – Bass

TRPA Advisory Planning Commission (Community assignment) – Susan Chandler

Tahoe Transportation District – Bass Alternate – Wallace

JPA Abandoned Vehicle Abatement – Middlebrook

JPA CalTahoe(California Tahoe Emergency Services Operations Authority) – Wallace and Bass Alternate – Middlebrook

Clean Tahoe – Wallace and Creegan

Commission on Aging (Community Assignment) – Barbara Kaufman

League of California Cities – Wallace

Park Avenue Development Project Plaza Maintenance Association – Wallace and Bass

JPA South Tahoe Tahoe Recreation Facilities – Friedrich

Community Play Consortium – Creegan

Solid Waste JPA – Creegan Alternate – Bass

Tahoe Prosperity Center – Middlebrook

Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority – Bass

Chamber of Commerce – Creegan

Lodging Association – Middlebrook

South Tahoe Chamber – Wallace

City Council Subcommittee Assignments

Finance – Friedrich and Wallace

Cannabis – Friedrich and Middlebrook

STPUD – Creegan and Wallace

LTUSD – Creegan and Friedrich

LTCC – Middlebrook and Friedrich

El Dorado County Two by Two – Wallace and Bass

Charter City – Bass and Middlebrook

Housing – Wallace and Friedrich

Short Term Economic Recovery – Wallace and Friedrich

Transformational Change Committee – Bass and Middlebrook

Multicultural Alliance – Friedrich and Bass

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