Funding, appointments and storm to be discussed by council
The first City Council meeting of the new year has a full agenda with funding and commissioner appointment decisions to be made, in addition to a request for a state of emergency declaration due to the storm that effectively shut down the Tahoe Basin for nearly a week.
The meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17, kicks off with a presentation by Paul Reder, owner of The Loft Theatre and president of PR Entertainment, on the success of music events put on by the company like Bass Camp Festival and Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival.
City Council is then tasked with voting on applicants for members of the Airport Land Use Commission, Building/ADA Board of Appeals, Parks and Recreation Commission, and Planning Commission.
The meat of the meeting is devoted to budget and staffing amendments for the new year.
The 2-percent increase in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) went into effect on Jan. 1, raising the rate for lodging in the Stateline area to 14 percent and to 12 percent outside the area. Funds raised from this increase will go toward the construction, operation and maintenance of the new city rec center. The city finance department is requesting an amendment to the 2016-17 budget to account for this increase in order to allow the city to move forward with plans and cost estimates for the new center. The estimated amount collected from the increase is approximately $1.4 million.
In order to meet the growing demand for community outreach, City Manager Nancy Kerry is proposing an amendment to staffing that would allow for more resources to be put toward providing “swift, accurate and up-to-the-minute communication” with residents and visitors alike. Kerry wants to eliminate the un-filled assistant city manager position in order to establish an additional person in each of the two divisions responsible for handling technology and communications.
In January 2015, City Council voted, pursuant to the California Government Code, to increase the councilmembers’ compensation annually by 5 percent. Council will vote to adopt the new compensation rate of $993.30 per month.
SERVICE CENTER LOBBY
The development services department is proposing a reallocation of costs due to being roughly $232,000 ahead of projected revenues for the quarter. As part of this reallocation, the department is requesting $166,000 to be spent on finishing up the renovation of the service center lobby on Tata Lane. Recently completed renovations include the creation of small meeting area, plus a new technology and kiosk center. The requested funds would go toward rebuilding the front counter, creating new meeting/conference areas and relocating staff space.
The airport ramp pavement condition failed a Caltrans study conducted in 2012, and since then, the city has been issued several grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to replace the ramp in phases. The proposed application to FAA seeks funding for phase four of the project. If the roughly $2-million grant is approved for submission by council and awarded by FAA, construction will proceed in August.
The city is seeking council approval for a state of emergency declaration due to the extreme weather experienced over the last week.
“The City’s Public Works department has been documenting the condition of the City’s infrastructure systems including Bijou Water Quality storm system, storm drains, streets, roadways, snow removal equipment,” reads the staff report. “Damage and system failures may not be fully determined until the snow melts this spring.”
The state of emergency would allow the city to seek state and federal emergency funds for the “ongoing consequences” they expect to see in the winter and spring. In addition to infrastructure damage, the city anticipates staffing overtime costs from the storm to impact the mid-year budget review.