End of the road for opposition to Measure H?
Tahoe residents may be in for a smoother drive in the near future.
The El Dorado County Board will decide Tuesday on whether to continue to fight Measure H.
Measure H, which was approved by voters on Nov. 7, requires that half of the Department of Motor Vehicle licensing fees go to road repairs in El Dorado County. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the commission chambers in Placerville.
Opposition to the measure centers on the fact that it prescribes money from the county budget specifically for road repair without board consent. County Supervisor Dave Solaro said aversion to the measure is waning, in part, because many roads in the Tahoe Basin are in need of repair.
“We have to make a decision whether we want to continue to oppose it or not,” Solaro said. “I personally do not (want to continue to oppose it). We can use the extra money to repair the roads in the Tahoe Basin.”
The measure would provide the county with an additional $1.3 million annually to do road work. The county has also increased its budget and is receiving funds from the U.S. Forest Service. The county will have $12.7 million to work on the roads without the Measure H funds. According to Solaro road work funds are needed in Tahoe and it is important that repairs be done soon.
“The roads have deteriorated for so many years that it is an area of concern that we need to pay attention to,” Solaro said. “The longer you wait to repair the roads the more it is going to cost.”
While it is uncertain if Measure H funds will be available this year, there are road work projects scheduled for the basin according to El Dorado Deputy Director of Maintenance Tom Celio.
“There are some programs scheduled for Tahoe this summer,” Celio said. “We have a seal coat project scheduled for the Christmas Valley area, and there is some overlay work scheduled for Pioneer Trail, but none of that is finalized yet. Where funding goes is determined on a year-to-year basis.”
Solaro said the board is going to consult Tahoe residents when making a final decision on where to concentrate Tahoe road work.
“We are going to be holding a meeting in Meyers within the next month to ask members of the community where they think the roads need the most work,” Solaro said. “What we will do, more than likely, is attempt to prioritize.”
Despite the additional funds, Tahoe roads are still far from complete recovery according to Celio.
“(The funds) are going to help (Tahoe roads,) but it is not enough to catch up” Celio said. “It is going to help some of the work that needs to be done. There is additional revenue needed to get to the point where we are catching up. It will help us put a dent in (the work that needs to be done.)”
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After a period of dry, warm weather, winter returns this week to Lake Tahoe.