Ice rink cost: $3.5 million
South Lake Tahoe city officials are looking to a local bond measure to pay for the construction of an ice rink.
In a report to councilmembers Tuesday, Mayor Pro Tem Hal Cole said preliminary plans for a 37,000-square-foot ice rink have been drawn.
“We planned for a first-class facility because we figured we’d start at the top and work down,” he said. “The bad news is that the cost was estimated at $3.5 million and we originally thought it would be about $2.5 million.”
Funding for the facility could come from a $500,000 local bond measure that is being drawn up by members of the South Tahoe Alliance for Recreation, or STAR. STAR is a compilation of area recreation providers and land management agencies.
In addition to the ice rink, the bond measure would also provide funding for the construction and maintenance of 25 miles of bike trail and four playing fields as well as a parking area near the Lake Tahoe Community College. It also calls for additional funding for improvements at Tahoe Paradise Park.
“There’s clearly a need for these recreational facilities in this area,” John Upton, of STAR, said. “I believe there will be (strong community support) when they realize how important this is.”
Current projections indicate that the measure would raise property taxes in the area by $18 per single family unit in the voting jurisdiction. Upton said area businesses would shoulder a larger portion of the dollar amount through a commercial business tax.
A proposal for the measure would likely come within the next month. Upton said he is aiming for a September special election.
If the measure makes it to the ballot, STAR will reorganize into a campaign organization.
“Right now, market conditions are extremely favorable to do this kind of thing,” Upton said.
Councilman Bill Crawford said he was concerned that the city is losing control of the ice rink project by involving STAR and the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve only turned over the method of raising the money,” he said. “It’s on a fast track – win or lose.”
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