Recreation project gains momentum |

Recreation project gains momentum

After a few tentative steps over the past few months, the framers of South Shore’s new Recreation Facilities Master Plan are beginning to take longer strides.

South Lake Tahoe attorney Dennis Crabb, one of a team of consultants hired by El Dorado County, said Tuesday that the first steps have been taken toward obtaining $3 million in federal funds to develop the Meyers landfill recreation area.

“It’s by no means a sure thing, but at least the battle has begun,” Crabb said. “Now comes the hard part.”

State Rep. John Doolittle and Sen. Dianne Feinstein have agreed to carry an appropriation bill to Congress, earmarking $1.5 million for cleanup and an additional $1.5 million for construction at the Meyers site. The 160-acre parcel, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and North Upper Truckee Road, would include four multi-use ball fields and other amenities, such as rest room facilities and storage sheds.

“Right now we’re trying to get a final readout as to what cleanup will be involved, and what shape the actual facilities will take,” Crabb said. “When we have a final package, it will go to Congress; probably sometime in September.

“It’s a good site, with no immediate impact on neighbors. That was one of the real sticking points with the failed Golden Bear Park.”

While approval of federal funding is by no means a sure thing, at least Tahoe’s recreation needs are officially in the mix, Crabb said.

“Tahoe has never had a higher profile in the country than it has right now,” Crabb said. “A lot of eyes were focused on us during the presidential forum, and we feel that in many ways this is ‘Tahoe’s year.’ This is the best time to be (requesting the funds).”

The Recreation Master Plan was adopted in October of last year, and the county officially gave it the go-ahead in December. On Tuesday, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved $55,500 to fund preparation of the plan through the end of June.

The plan has been circulated through the community for the past month, and a steering committee was formed to incorporate the input from the different agencies.

That steering group was dubbed STAR (South Tahoe Alliance For Recreation) and is continuing to examine other potential recreation sites in the South Shore area. The next meeting of STAR will be June 25, and there is a public forum scheduled for sometime in July (date and time to be announced).

STAR also wants to develop two other sites in South Shore as recreation facilities.

Lake Tahoe Community College has received state funding to construct a field house at the proposed recreation area adjacent to the college campus, on Al Tahoe Boulevard. Already approved on that site are the construction of two ball fields.

Also, a 30-acre parcel of Santini-Burton land in Tahoe Paradise on the west end of Lake Baron is undergoing preliminary soil analysis by the TRPA. The site, which could accommodate three ball fields, has some environmental problems, but was recently approved for expansion after Rep. Doolittle approved a transfer for other land in El Dorado County that is in greater need of conservation.

Also down the road is proposed development of a 16-acre site adjacent to the Caltrans snow dump at the end of Sierra Boulevard, which would accommodate multi-use ball fields and three basketball courts.

Another priority in the Master Plan is a new bike trail system, which would incorporate portions of an existing trail, placed away from U.S. Highway 50.

“The vision is a trail that runs from the base of Echo Summit to Stateline,” Crabb said.

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