Feds may help with basin transportation needs | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Feds may help with basin transportation needs

The Lake Tahoe Basin needs more than the $50,000 it gets each year from the federal government for transit, said Carl Hasty, a deputy director at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

That’s why he attended a meeting focused on transportation on Tuesday in Las Vegas with Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas, and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The group met to discuss transportation issues in the Lake Tahoe Basin and the rest of Nevada. Hasty said he relayed to the elected officials that the basin is more than just a bunch of resort communities. It can resemble a metropolitan area because the population can reach 250,000. The area needs more money than it receives each year in order to improve transportation.

Reid and Berkley will serve on the U.S. Environment and Public Works Committee in 2003. It contains a subcommittee for transportation that is crafting a bill to determine how federal money is distributed for transit at metropolitan areas across the country.

“It’s an important piece of legislation for us at Tahoe,” Hasty said. “It’s the primary vehicle for federal money and operating money is very hard to come by.”

Hasty said if more money comes to Tahoe, it would enable more jurisdictions at the basin to meet goals set to improve transportation.

The TRPA Governing Board on Wednesday approved a system that links building at the basin to environmental work in four areas — transportation, erosion controls (best management practices), permit compliance and projects that are identified as part of the environmental improvement program.

The EIP is list of about 900 projects identified to protect the disappearing clarity of Lake Tahoe.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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