Plan for federal building location set |

Plan for federal building location set

by Andy Bourelle

Right now there is a parcel of land between Johnson Boulevard and the post office with only trees and grass on it – and maybe a little bit of snow, too.

The Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan, however, calls for a Lake Tahoe Government Center to be built on the 12-acre, Lake Tahoe Community College-owned parcel. And while that plan has been in the works for years, it’s getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.

The U.S. Forest Service Monday announced the completion of an environmental assessment for the project. No significant impacts were identified, and another 30-day public comment period is under way. If the proposal continues to move forward with no problems, construction should begin in spring 2000.

Proponents expect the plan to create “one-stop shopping” for government agencies, putting related entities in one centrally located spot. The proximity of the college also will allow for shared resources, officials believe.

The 50,000-square-foot government center would be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 would provide office space for the Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service and FBI. Phase 2 construction, expected to begin within five years, will add additional office space for state agencies, which may include the California Tahoe Conservancy, California Department of Forestry and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

It will include a commons area and a central conference facility for combined use by the federal and state agencies. The complex is expected to include parking spaces for employees and visitors – unlike the Forest Service’s current facility on Emerald Bay Road.

Guy Lease, president of Lake Tahoe Community College, said the school supports the project.

“We like it because the land is being used for something we see as positive for the community,” Lease said.

Copies of the environmental assessment can be viewed at the El Dorado County Library, 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd., or at the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Office, 870 Emerald Bay Road. Individual copies can be obtained from Joe Oden at the Forest Service, (530) 573-2653.

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