Letter: Did IVGID chair’s letter torpedo transportation grant? (opinion)
The Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) failed to receive a Build Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a proposed bike path around Lake Tahoe. It was widely reported that Incline Village General Improvement District had volunteered $7.5 million in matching funds had the grant been approved. And some of the funding would have paid for the effluent pipeline servicing Incline Village/Crystal Bay.
But IVGID board chair Kendra Wong put forward the matching funds to the grant in a letter without board approval. The TTD refused to make the application for the grant available to the public, and Wong’s foolish actions probably torpedoed the chances for the TTD to acquire the grant for the proposed bike path.
The Build Grant application has to be accurate, specific and complete with all funding noted and approved. In this case, Wong, acting totally outside the board’s authority, probably killed the TTD’s chances of receiving the grant.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao was notified by angry Incline Village residents that $7.5 million of public funds were committed to this project without board approval. And that Wong did not have the authority to commit public funds to a federal project.
Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler, who sits on the board of the TTD, was made aware of the money which was committed by Wong without board approval but it was too late to unwind the application or to amend the application to reflect the truth in funding.
Crystal Bay, Nevada