Kahle Phase II focus of TDVA agenda | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Kahle Phase II focus of TDVA agenda

Sally J. Taylor

Kahle Park Phase II will again be discussed Wednesday by the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority.

The board of directors’ meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Douglas County Administrative Building in Stateline.

Other items on the agenda include updates on the LTVA marketing plan; discussions to expand the LTVA joint powers agreement with the city and county to include the TDVA; and preliminary discussions on a 1997-98 budget.

Morgan Baumgartner, of Lionel Sawyer & Collins, the legal counsel for the TDVA, will report to the board on the legal ramifications of using transient occupancy tax funds to secure bonds for the construction of the second phase of Kahle Park.

At question is whether the bonding would be in violation of the intent of Nevada Assembly Bill 616, passed last summer.

The bill increased the room tax by 1 percent to be used for tourism promotion in the Tahoe portion of Douglas County and mandated that a portion of TOT revenue previously used for county services, such as parks and recreation, be gradually transferred beginning in 1999 to tourism promotions. The TDVA was created by AB616 to manage those funds.

By the time the bonds expire in 2004, a total of about $1.7 million could be diverted from marketing tourism to the park.

The TDVA board members have expressed support for Phase II construction but questioned whether use of TOT revenue was the appropriate funding mechanism.

Douglas County Commissioners in January approved bonding TOT funds for Phase II construction and are proceeding with those plans, with or without approval from the TDVA board.

Commissioners have reasoned that Phase II was originally intended to be paid for with TOT bonding as was Phase I and that the window of opportunity was narrowing in advance of the 1999 fund transfer.

In addition, the added construction will provide additional revenue to the park, decreasing the county’s operations costs and lessening the possibility that the park could face reduced hours or closure due to funding cuts after 1999.

Park bonding advocates have also pointed out that the park expansion would enhance tourism services at the lake and could be considered appropriate use of promotional funds.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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