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City will consider airport proposal

Jenifer Ragland

City leaders Tuesday will consider hiring a private consultant to study alternative management possibilities for the Lake Tahoe Airport.

If the South Lake Tahoe City Council awards the contract – not to exceed $19,200 – it will be contingent upon the cost being shared equally with the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

The LTVA Board of Directors is expected to vote on the issue Thursday.

Aires Consultants, Ltd., a Morgan Hill-based firm, was chosen as the preferred contractor by a panel of city and LTVA leaders.

Talk of privatizing the airport and possibly turning over its management to the LTVA came about through the city’s Destination 2000 committee. Although the move would provide no direct cost savings to the strapped budget, city officials thought depoliticizing the airport could help revitalize it.

The purpose of the proposed study is to determine if an alternative form or operation is financially feasible and a benefit to the community, whether revenues and expenditures could be adjusted to make the airport more profitable and how any changes will affect the facility’s Federal Aviation Administration status and funding.

According to the staff report, the study prepared by Aires should address all of the questions and concerns posed by Don Miner, chair of the LTVA board, in a letter he wrote to the city.

The Lake Tahoe Airport Commission voted unanimously May 8 to recommend the hiring to the City Council. If approved, the maximum financial impact would be $9,600 and would come from the city’s contingency reserves.

Other items on the agenda include:

— A proposed time change of the June 3 City Council meeting, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The issue was brought up by Mayor Tom Davis, who said he could not attend the meeting if it were at 6 p.m.

Council members could opt to change the time, run the meeting without Davis or cancel the meeting.

— A status report on handicap parking enforcement activity in the city by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.

In related news, the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency is scheduled to discuss contributing $87,680 toward traffic signal improvements at Ski Run Boulevard and U.S. Highway 50.

The California Department of Transportation has agreed to pitch in $50,000 for the project, which will start Sept. 2 and be completed by Oct. 15.

If approved, the money would come out of the agency’s capital improvement fund.

The redevelopment agency will convene immediately following the council’s regular meeting.


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