SLT Council approve bicycle trail project, 56-Acres Master Plan |

SLT Council approve bicycle trail project, 56-Acres Master Plan

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The South Lake Tahoe City Council voted to move forward with the Lake Tahoe Boulevard Class One Bicycle Trail project without the inclusion of conduit for future broadband during their Tuesday evening meeting.

The project will develop a new class one bicycle trail approximately 0.6 miles in length from D Street/Viking Way to the Y. This bike trail will close a gap in the south shore trail system and will encourage people to get out of their cars and to walk or ride their bikes.

The project will reconstruct some of the drainage infrastructure along Lake Tahoe Boulevard, which will extend the lifetime of the roadway and reduce required maintenance along that section of roadway.

The proposed contract included an alternative which would’ve allowed the city to preemptively install conduit for future broadband access which would have aligned with the city’s dig once policy.

However, Anush Nejad, Director of Public Works recommended not including that alternative because of the city’s lack of funding and lack of a formal broadband plan.

The council members were torn on which direction to go but was ultimately swayed in favor of Nejad’s opinion by Councilmember Tamara Wallace.

“I’m 100% in favor of a dig once policy however, we hire experts to tell us what is the appropriate way to do these things and if Mr. Nejad is telling us that it’s better to have a plan in place and trenchless can be done for the same amount of money after a plan has been developed then I’m inclined to trust him,” Wallace said.

Nejad said trenchless installation of broadband would be good for future consideration due to its ease of installation and relatively low cost. He strongly recommended the council discuss a plan before moving forward with any decisions.

The council approved the $4.6 million contract with Sierra Nevada Construction without the conduit alternative.

The council also approved adoption of the 56-Acres Master Plan, as well as a ground lease agreement with El Dorado County for the development, operation, and maintenance of the 56-Acre Property.

Staff expressed excitement over passage of the plan, stating that this plan is several years in the making. In addition, staff was proud of the community involvement in creation of the plan, especially since the majority of the planning was happening during the pandemic.

Council also voted to accept the State default campaign contribution limits which prohibits a person from making a contribution to a candidate for elective city office and prohibits a candidate from accepting a contribution from a person, totaling more than $4,900.

Sue Blankenship, City Clerk took a survey of the limits set by the 482 California cities.

“Of the 145 reporting cities, 23 used the State limit, 16 adopted no limit, 33 had a limit of $1,000 or greater ($1,444 average) and 72 had a limit under $1,000 ($362 average),” Blankenship said.

The council ultimately decided that adhering to the State default would be easiest for Blankenship, although she said she would be happy to make any changes the council asked for.

The council meeting started with a presentation by the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce in opposition of the Tahoe Transportation District’s proposed Basin User Fee.

“The cover language that has arisen recently is “over tourism” and “one Tahoe” and “sustainable tourism” themes. We believe these are cover phrases and precursors to the User Fee. We believe that a trojan horse is being rolled inside our City government walls. The TTD has spent a million dollars of taxpayer money to push for the Basin User Fee. We are here to sound the alarm,” Chamber president Duane Wallace said.

Chamber member Bruce Grego also spoke against the Basin User Fee.

“What governmental entity has the capacity to wisely regulate the flow of tourists in the Tahoe Basin and consider and mitigate all impact of their actions. Certainly we cannot entrust the unelected and unaccountable and undemocratic governmental bodies of [Tahoe Regional Planning Agency] and TTD to make these decisions. Who will be held responsible if the proposed taxes are permitted, when a vast public transportation system is created, and the system fails?,” Grego said. “I say that the Government’s involvement to this level in the private sector will only lead to adverse consequences to the private sector and to the People that live and earn a living here.”

Since this was a presentation, council did not vote on any items related to the topic but did encourage residents to stay engaged in this issue.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.


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