Operations budget approved | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Operations budget approved

A new ambulance provider is about to take over for the Eastern Slope of El Dorado County.

Tuesday night in Kings Beach, the California Tahoe Emergency Services Operations Authority – comprising the city of South Lake Tahoe, Lake Valley Fire Protection District and the North Tahoe Fire Protection District – approved its operations budget.

“The most important message is that the budget will be in the black after the first year,” said Judy Brown, a board member for Cal-Tahoe.

This morning, the South Lake Tahoe City Council is expected to finalize its agreement with Cal-Tahoe in a special meeting. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will also hold a special meeting in Placerville to attend to any last-minute details.

“It’s been a real crunch for us to get everything done by the deadline,” said Duane Whitelaw, fire chief for the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. “There were some delays on the part of both sides, but it appears as though we will reach a mutual agreement by (Thursday).”

Cal-Tahoe has no employees. It contracts with each member agency.

Brad Bennett, South Lake Tahoe’s police and fire chief, said the new agreement will provide for better service.

“It will work out better for everybody around the lake,” Bennett said.

Cal-Tahoe is expected to sign a five-year contract with El Dorado County, effective at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The contract includes five one-year extensions pending favorable performance reviews, said Gayle-Erbe Hamlin, director for El Dorado County Public Health.

The budget includes hiring nine additional employees who will be cross-trained as firefighters and paramedics. Six will be based in South Lake Tahoe and three in the Lake Valley area.

The county will pay Cal-Tahoe $189,200 up front for the first two months of start-up costs and $78,833 a month for 12 months. Additional revenues will be generated by non-emergency interfacility transfers.

“We have purchased all new equipment and the public can expect a very high level of service from us,” Whitelaw said.

What: Special meeting of South Lake Tahoe City Council to approve ambulance service agreements with Cal-Tahoe joint powers authority.

When: 8 a.m. today

Where: 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

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