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Paying for a part in the lake’s future

Justin Broglio

The city of South Lake Tahoe will likely contribute $50,000 to a Pathway 2007’s “Place-Based” planning fund to pay for consultants, pending final approval by the City Council.

“Place-based” planning is the new moniker attached to the multi-agency effort to create a basinwide development plan for the next two decades.

The Incline Village General Improvement District and Washoe, Douglas and El Dorado counties are expected to pay $25,000 each while South Lake Tahoe and Placer County will both give $50,000 to the fund.

“I believe that’s what we’re intending to do,” said South Lake Tahoe City Councilman John Upton, who also serves on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board.

Upton said the item may come up for approval on the City Council’s Jan. 17 meeting.

The allocations break down to $100,000 for the North Shore and $100,000 for the South Shore. The question of how to pay for the fund has been a topic of discussion for several months, said TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan. The agency, which regulates development at Tahoe, is part of the Pathway 2007 project.

Pathway 2007 is a process to come up with new 20-year plans for the basin’s four most influential agencies: the U.S. Forest Service, the TRPA, Lahontan Water Board and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. The process intends to include all stakeholders at the lake, such as area governments, private citizens, businesses and conservation groups.

The initial $200,000 solicited is just the first step in the estimated $500,000 to $700,000 it will take to hire full-time consultants for the rest of the Pathway planning process, TRPA officials said.

It is not specifically known how the balance of the money for consultants will be raised, officials noted.

“The way we envision the process, this will be a one-time contribution based on the total budget of the contract (for the consultants),” Regan said. “As the project evolves and moves forward we’ll have to look for other funding sources or contributions.”

The Incline Village General Improvement District is the only public utility district being solicited for money along with several of the basin’s incorporated cities and counties.

District general manager Bill Horn said the $25,000 is a “small price to pay” for a voice in the Pathway planning process.

“We’re a special district that does more than most,” Horn said. “We are further along in the community involvement process than most communities around the lake and this is a chance for us to have a voice in what happens around the lake over the next 20 years.”

If approved by its board of trustees, the district’s $25,000 contribution will supplement the $50,000 already contributed by Placer County, TRPA officials said.

-Tribune staff writers Amanda Fehd and Susan Wood contributed to this report.


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