Government building might consolidate location |

Government building might consolidate location

You have a question concerning forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin, but you don’t know who to ask.

The U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, California Tahoe Conservancy, California Department of Forestry or another agency?

And where are their offices?

Well, in future years, some – or all – of these agencies likely will be located in one spot. A 12-acre parcel of land belonging to the Lake Tahoe Community College is the proposed location for a new administrative government center.

“One benefit of this is to have all the resource agencies in one location,” said Colin West, engineering and recreation staff officer for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. “If someone needs something and they don’t know who to talk to, we’ll all be right there.”

The Forest Service hopes to break ground in spring 2000, and the government center would be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 would provide about 22,600 square feet of office space for the Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Phase 2 construction will add additional office space for state agencies, which may include the California Tahoe Conservancy, California Department of Forestry and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The complex would be located along Al Tahoe Boulevard between the entrance to College Drive and the U.S. Post Office property. It will include a commons area and a central conference facility for combined use by the federal and state agencies.

In contrast to the small parking lot at the Forest Service’s current building on Emerald Bay Road, the complex is expected to include parking spaces for employees and visitors.

The project will not include any outdoor storage, warehousing or fueling facilities.

The location was identified in the Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan as ideal for a government center, according to project manager Jack Zearfoss. Additionally, the proximity of the college will allow for a shared resources, officials believe. The Forest Service is encouraging the public to express comments or concerns regarding the proposed action. Two workshops will be held on Feb. 1, and written comments must be received by March 1.

“This is all a part of the environmental analysis process, gathering public input and ideas on issues we may not be aware of,” West said. “We need the public to share ideas with us before we get too far down the road in analyzing the project.”

What: Public meetings to discuss proposed government center

When: Feb. 1, 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: South Lake Tahoe Branch of the El Dorado County Library

Information: Jack Zearfoss, (530) 573-2696

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