Supervisors approve $2.5 million in funding to replace South Lake Tahoe maintenance garage
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A 42-year-old dilapidated maintenance garage housing South Lake Tahoe snow removal equipment is on track to be replaced.
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Jan. 14, unanimously approved $2.5 million in funding to replace the garage.
The county’s director of transportation, Rafael Martinez, relayed to the board the poor conditions of the building, located at 1121 Shakori Rd in Meyers.
He said the number and size of the snow removal equipment has grown and the space between those machines and walls are maybe an inch or two.
The close quarters have led to collisions with garage’s concrete block walls to where there are gouges and cracks and outside is visible from inside the building.
Severely cracked wooden pillars are holding up a leaky roof and are twisting off their concrete platforms despite metal brackets trying to hold them in place. The roof on the building’s backside is deteriorating.
“I can see the Caltrans yard across the street through the cinder blocks,” Martinez told the board.
Martinez said that with the harsh Tahoe weather, the facility has seen its fair share of damage.
He said to move forward and keep staff safe, “We’re at a critical moment.”
District 5 Supervisor, Sue Novasel, who represents South Lake Tahoe, took photos prior to the meeting and showed them on a big screen.
“It’s a scary site,” Novasel said during the discussion. “It really is a hazardous place. It’s not safe, mold, the roof can collapse with too much snow. Our snowblowers being in there makes it ironic.”
Supervisor Shiva Frentzen asked Martinez if replacing the garage was the highest priority compared to other needs in the county.
Martinez said the risk is too high if action wasn’t taken.
The board was presented with four options of funding the project that included using the general fund contingency; Using the general fund capital replacement reserve which is at $14,033,000; Use the remaining general fund amount set aside for FEMA projects (currently at $1,651,282) in combination with any of the three other funding sources identified; Use of 2019-20 available road fund fund balance (currently at approximately $1,800,000) in combination with any of the three other funding sources.
The board unanimously approved funding for the project but still must decide which option it will use.
In September 2017, the county retained Miyamoto International to review the conditions of the garage. The investigation revealed damage due to heavy use and exposure to the elements and it was also noted the building appeared to have multiple seismic deficiencies.
A report was prepared to detail what needed to be done to expand the building’s lifespan.
Two contractors later reviewed the report and thought the extensive scope of work was “daunting” and one ultimately passed.
The estimated costs were slightly less than razing the building and starting from scratch.