El Dorado County joins government group | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado County joins government group

It’s official – El Dorado County is now a member of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. And for those scratching their heads over this tidbit, it should be considered good news.

It’s good news to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in any event, who voted to join SACOG in August and received the final OK on Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Placerville.

“We’re officially a member, which means we have a seat on the SACOG board and will participate in their decisions,” said El Dorado County Fifth District Supervisor Dave Solaro. “We’ve been talking about doing this for quite some time, and now it’s a reality. The county should benefit greatly.”

SACOG is an organization which disperses federal road improvement funds on the state level. SACOG approved 125 road improvement projects in Sacramento County in 1999. Among projects reviewed and approved by SACOG are new carpool lanes on Interstate 80, and the widening of Watt Avenue in Sacramento.

“One of our main functions is to provide planning support and to provide a forum for coordination opportunities for the region’s transit operators,” said SACOG chairman Tom Stallard. “Our objective is to provide the data and technical tools needed for high quality transportation and air quality analysis, planning and project development.”

Until recently El Dorado County has never really been interested in the services SACOG has to offer. But as the West Slope has grown over the past decade, transportation and pollution issues are suddenly a part of everyday life.

In September, SACOG approved a large project to add carpool lanes to a stretch of U.S. Highway 50 between Sunrise Boulevard and El Dorado Hills Boulevard in eastern Sacramento County. Because it was not a member, El Dorado County had no say in the project, even though that stretch of highway is a main commuter line to and from the West Slope and points east, including South Lake Tahoe.

In addition to El Dorado County, the counties of Sacramento, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba are SACOG members.

“By the year 2022, that six-county region is projected to have a population of 2,796,468, and about 1.2 million jobs,” Stallard said. “In 1972, the population in those counties was only 971,100. Communities today face problems that transcend city and county boundaries. SACOG provides a forum to help solve those problems.”

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