Lake Tahoe school district will spend half-million plus on project plans |

Lake Tahoe school district will spend half-million plus on project plans

Sara Thompson, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The Lake Tahoe Unified School Board has approved spending $578,847 on

construction documents to stay in the running for $15.4 million in state matching funds for school-improvement projects.

The expenditure was approved during a special meeting last week. Board members

Michael Doyle and Angela Swanson were absent.

To be eligible for the matching funds, the district must submit plans to the Department of State Architect by Aug. 29 and Sept. 8 for two different grants.

That is before officials will know the outcome of Measure G, a $64.5 million bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

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If Measure G passes, it would reimburse the district for the planning costs and fund projects detailed in the construction documents, such as a career technical facility for South Tahoe High School and an overcrowding-relief building.

The new bond would tax property owners $28.70 per $100,000 of assessed value.

If Measure G fails, the district would be left with construction documents but would not have funds to build the projects. The district would not be able to receive the $15.4 million in state matching grants.

The district asked voters to approve Measure A, an $87 million bond, in June, which would have paid for the construction documents now, LTUSD Superintendent Jim Tarwater said. Since it didn’t pass, the board put Measure G on the November election in an effort to keep the matching funds.

Tarwater said the district asked the DSA to extend the state deadline until after the election, but the date could not be moved.

If Measure G doesn’t pass, LTUSD Financial Officer Debra Yates said the district has a safety net, because the money could be taken out of the capital facilities fund.

The district has $1.2 million in its capital facilities fund, which can only be used for construction and modernization of facilities.

The money in the capital facilities fund comes from developer fees. When developers build in the school district, they pay $2.24 per square foot for residential development and 36 cents per square foot for commercial development.

Board President Sue Novasel said that because $15.4 million is on the line, the board needed to approve paying for the construction documents. She said she felt more comfortable approving the funding since there was a backup plan.