KGID approves fee for snow removal
Trying to stop a snowball of critical capital improvements, the Kingsbury Grade Improvement District on Tuesday approved a snow removal fee.
Homeowners will pay a flat monthly fee of $13.50 that will allow the district to repair existing streets which have taken a beating from harsh conditions for more than 20 years.
Heavenly Ski Resort and The Ridge Tahoe will be charged 200 and 23 times the base rate, respectively, because of the traffic the businesses attract to the area. Eagle’s Nest restaurant and Daggett Station will have to pay five times the normal rate.
The fee will generate approximately $393,000 in the next fiscal year and will take effect Jan. 1, 1998. KGID General Manager Candi Rohr said the money hasn’t been available for street repairs because the district had focused on water issues.
“If we had the money before we could have slowed down the deterioration,” she said. “These roads are at the end of their lifespan right now.”
KGID board members listened to two hours of comments made by the public. One of the issues that was routinely questioned was the elimination from the fee of parcels directly across from Kingsbury Grade. The district doesn’t remove snow from that area and, Rohr said, those homeowners do pay a property tax that is used in the general fund. Some residents stated everyone in the district should pay the fee.
When KGID Chairman Robert Cook asked if all residents should be assessed, a majority of the attendees raised their hands.
“You look at the logic and say if those people don’t pay the fee you could then reason that the residents who get a lot of snow removal service should pay more,” said Marty Potnick. “You might be setting a precedent.”
Not everyone appreciated the fact that the board disregarded the idea the monthly charge should be based on elevation rather than a flat rate. The board explained that since higher elevations get more snowfall, Upper Kingsbury residents will receive a majority of the service.
“There has to be a good justification to not have a flat fee,” Rohr said. “I couldn’t find one.”
The new fee structure will maintain district roads but won’t replace them. Rohr warned that a voter-approved tax or bond measure may be on the horizon to address the $9 million in road repairs.
“We have so many bad roads in the district but it’s hard to tell which ones need the most attention first,” Cook said.
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