Election will determine Meeks ambulance service | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Election will determine Meeks ambulance service

Rick Chandler

El Dorado County residents on the west shore of Lake Tahoe will soon be asked to make an important decision concerning their ambulance service.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized the County Public Health Department to prepare a special election for the Lake Tahoe communities of Meeks Bay, Tahoma and Rubicon. At issue is the status of the contract for the ambulance service covering those communities. The contract expires on July 1.

Ambulance service for West Shore is currently provided by the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. But the cost of renewing that contract will increase substantially on July 1, said Fifth District Supervisor Dave Solaro.

“Due to winter road conditions and travel distance, the contract with (NTFPD) has been the best solution for everyone in that area,” Solaro said. “But with the increased cost, those residents may not want to continue in that direction.”

Solaro said that there are two options for residents in those three communities. They can renew the contract with NTFPD or get a new contract with Lake Tahoe Ambulance, which is based in South Shore.

The Board of Supervisors and the Public Health Department have organized a town meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Homewood Lodge.

State Route 89, which links South Lake Tahoe with the three small communities, is often closed due to snow. The shutdown usually occurs near Bliss State Park, south of Rubicon.

The El Dorado County/Placer County line runs through the middle of Tahoma.

The issue would be put up for election sometime in June, according to Solaro.

If residents opt to go with the South Shore company, some sort of mutual aid contract would have to be negotiated with NTFPD in times of bad weather, according to Solaro.

Also Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved the annual contract renewal agreement for operation of the South Lake Tahoe ambulance dispatch center, for an amount not to exceed $59,590.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.