Council to consider spending packages |

Council to consider spending packages

Susan Wood

Something old, something new.

From a roundabout at the “Y” to keeping the Bijou Golf Course up to par, the South Lake Tahoe City Council takes up Tuesday a wide assortment of issues expected to drive the future of the town.

The council is expected to review preliminary results of a study that evaluates over a three-year period the compensation packages for city staffers. At the outset, provided tables from the study indicate positions from the top down may be due for raises by the second year of implementing the compensation program. Some examples include current salaries for the accounting manager, economic development manager, risk management coordinator, assistant city clerk and transportation and solid waste manager positions. The latter position held by Smokey Rickerd comes in with an 18 percent lower salary than the study’s preliminary recommendation.

The city conducted the study to help smooth out negotiations with unions and measure how the Tahoe government agency stacks up in comparison to others in Mammoth Lakes, Placerville, Folsom, Truckee, Monterey and other areas. An assistant manager in Monterey makes $27,898 less than South Lake Tahoe City Manager Dave Jinkens at $116,688. The study outcome shows Jinkens is due for a boost.

Money to go around

Finding the financing for a variety of suggested programs is always a challenge in local government – including those projects that may seem aesthetic to the citizens of the town.

— The council may re-evaluate the next step in whether to proceed with a roundabout at the “Y” – a traffic improvement recently determined to be about $1 million more than originally anticipated. The major intersection where highways 89 and 50 converge is due for traffic improvements. The Tahoe Valley Community Plan was presented with the recommend roundabout.

— Advocates for a pedestrian-activated traffic signal at the Heavenly Village crosswalk may see a decision Tuesday. This $245,000 traffic improvement proposed on the other end of town is also considered $79,000 short of the amount needed to install. The city has talked about re-allocating the leftover $49,000 from the disbanding Tourism Promotion Business Improvement District, but there were other suggestions like special event funding for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and advertising of the city’s Parks and Recreation facilities. Recreation Superintendent Garry Moore expressed interest in withdrawing his $24,000 request in light of the shortfall for the pedestrian light.

— The South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency has received a $500,000 request from a developer set to build Sky Forest Acres, a housing community for the disabled on Emerald Bay Road. Accessible Space is making the appeal based on rising construction costs.

— The first-time homebuyer program will close out this year’s California Community Development Block Grant Funds. The program is designed to assist low-income residents in buying their first home.

— The Public Works Department has also requested $70,000 to lease two pick-ups for its streets division.

— The Parks and Recreation Department wants the council to award a bid to lease an all-wheel-drive loader for $125,000.

In other business, the city will hear a report on the progress of the parking lot lease for the Bijou Golf Course.

The parking lot lease expired in November, and property owner Knox Johnson wants the city to shell out more for the lease and make improvements it’s not willing to do.

— The city will also decide whether to participate in the League of California Cities’ Healthy Kids program that provides health insurance for those in need.

— Plus, results of the second part of a study conducted to monitor the city’s retail environment will be presented. The study concluded about $219 million in retail sales is lost to other areas with better shopping opportunities.

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