Progress on partnership agreement
A partnership between the school district, City of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County is inching closer after a meeting Friday between officials laid down a timeline and other baby steps.
El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago said the ad hoc committee spoke about improving the South Tahoe Middle School track as a possible starting point. She added the leaders including South Lake Tahoe City Public Works Director John Greenhut, city councilmember Kathay Lovell and Lake Tahoe Unified School District Jim Tarwater will spend time until the next meeting on May 26 by ascertaining needs.
“It was very productive,” Santiago said. “We’re setting up time frames and issues and getting together concepts, things of that nature.”
City officials have longed for a permanent, sightly city hall and combining all agencies under one roof. The school district, perpetually being fiscally prudent because of past budget cuts from declining enrollment, has land it can lease or sell. All three entities would field cost-cutting ideas such as facility sharing.
The dilapidated middle school track was discussed as possibly being moved or used as the first partnership venture for events and activities, said South Lake Tahoe City Manager Dave Jinkens.
“There’s a lot of excitement about that,” Jinkens said.
Memorandums will be drafted and sent to each respected agency board for approval to go forward, Jinkens said. The drafts won’t be binding but assurance to keeping working on the plan, he added.
Angela Swanson, a school district board member, was part of a team from South Lake Tahoe that visited Davis earlier this month. The team inspected Davis’ 38-acre facility-sharing complex which housed a 550-seat theater, gymnasium, library, city offices and other facilities, Swanson said.
Swanson said there is motivation among South Lake Tahoe officials to get the plan off the ground.
“We definitely have three agencies that want to work together and move forward on a project,” Swanson said.
Swanson added help is being received from a Sacramento organization dealing with agency collaboration issues.
A location for a possible shared building, such as a government complex which would possibly house school, city and county offices has not been determined. Earlier this year interested officials toured the district’s bus garage on Al Tahoe Boulevard as a location. Land near Al Tahoe Elementary has also been discussed.
At the next meeting “potential design concepts” will be discussed, Santiago said.
A Carson City construction management firm, Harris and Associates, will present cost estimates, information on constructing a “green” building and other information, said Darren Schulz, regional manager.
“I think it has a real shot of happening,” Schulz said.
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