Grant allows South Tahoe to finish Sierra Tract project |

Grant allows South Tahoe to finish Sierra Tract project

Tom Lotshaw

A $2.8 million grant from the state of California will allow South Lake Tahoe to complete the last two phases of its erosion control and stormwater improvement project in the Sierra Tract neighborhood, city officials announced Friday.

The grant money comes from a Proposition 84 bond initiative California voters passed in 2006. South Lake Tahoe’s grant was the second largest awarded in the competitive funding round.

“This is the final piece of funding we need for this Sierra Tract project,” said Ray Jarvis, director of public works.

The project is being completed to reduce erosion and improve stormwater quality in a large area that drains into the Upper Truckee River and from there flows into Lake Tahoe. The first two phases of the project were completed at a cost of about $3 million.

Completion of the Sierra Tract project will allow the city to fully meet the stormwater pollutant load reduction targets that are laid out in its permit through the Total Maximum Daily Load program. The program aims to significantly reduce the amount of fine-sediment and other pollutants entering Lake Tahoe.

“We’ll finish up the project designs through the fall and winter and go out to bid for construction in summer 2015. It should be a one-season project. We’re making significant improvements here,” Jarvis said.

Sierra Tract is one of several regional projects South Lake Tahoe is undertaking to improve its infrastructure and stormwater quality. They include the $11 million Bijou erosion control project that should be finished this fall and was also awarded $3 million in Proposition 84 funding in 2012, as well as the ongoing $6 million project to remake Harrison Avenue and improve its stormwater drainage.

In a separate project, Jarvis said the city is seeking grant money for Sierra Boulevard to repair the roadway and put in additional stormwater quality improvements and new bike paths.

City Manager Nancy Kerry said officials continue to focus their efforts on investing in infrastructure and improving the built environment. “Any additional cash flow or grants we get goes into the infrastructure. We’re focused on tackling our backlog of deferred maintenance,” she said.

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