Preliminary budget set for approval |

Preliminary budget set for approval

Jenifer Ragland

South Lake Tahoe leaders Monday signed off on budget allocations to various promotional, cultural and social service organizations.

The amounts will officially be approved tonight, when the City Council adopts the 1997-98 preliminary budget.

Contributions for contract agencies comes primarily out of the 2 percent Transient Occupancy Tax revenues dedicated to promotion.

Topping that list are the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, which receive about 70 percent of the total promotion funds.

This year, LTVA is expected to get $679,310 – about $55,000 more than last year – and the chamber will receive $119,408 – about $4,400 less than last year’s budget allocated.

The reason for the discrepancy, said City Manager Kerry Miller, is because of the way the subsidy for the Lake Tahoe Airport was divided.

“Last year, we allocated the full Lake Tahoe Airport impact to the LTVA, so that the LTVA got significantly less than they would have and the chamber got a little more,” Miller said.

The 1997-98 airport subsidy is projected for $289,765, about $2,200 less than the airport received in this fiscal year.

Councilwoman Judy Brown asked several questions about the difference in the chamber’s decreased funding, apparently concerned about how it would affect the agency’s budget.

Duane Wallace, executive director of the chamber, said he was expecting the allocation to be the same as last year.

“It will be tough,” he told the council, adding jokingly, “We will promote your town for food.”

The chamber’s budget is particularly tight this year, Wallace said, especially with the added expense of providing snow removal in the chamber parking lot – a result of Destination 2000 cuts.

But Wallace said he is impressed with the city for having the courage to go through with D-2000, which is why he isn’t complaining. He also encouraged city leaders to push for the revitalization of the airport, which he characterized as a “$6 million asset.”

Discussions about the Lake Tahoe Airport and its future will continue today, when the council holds a public hearing on the city’s enterprise funds, sometime after 10 a.m.

Representatives from Aries Consultants, Ltd. are expected to deliver the findings of a recently completed study, which recommends the city put forth dollars to retain a commercial air carrier at the airport.

Remaining dollars from the promotion fund went to the Tallac Association ($6,200), Tahoe Arts Project ($4,410), Tahoe Community Orchestra ($990), Sister Cities of Tahoe ($1,100) and the Lake Tahoe Historical Society ($2,000).

Out of the general fund, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care will get $1,710, Court Appointed Special Advocates $14,000 and the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center $7,106.

Miller noted that the allocation to the women’s center will help subsidize the loss of maintenance, utility payment and snow removal from the city that will come with D-2000.

Clean Tahoe will get $76,150 from the Clean Community Fund, contingent upon the results of a recently initiated financial and program audit, the council concluded.

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