Tahoe Chamber endorses both measures on March ballot (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Chamber endorses both measures on March ballot (Opinion)

Steve Teshara
Guest column

The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce (Tahoe Chamber) has announced its endorsement of Measure B and Measure M on the March 3 Primary Election ballot.

Both local measures address a well-documented need for investment in new equipment.

Measure B is proposed by the Lake Valley Fire Protection District, to be voted on by property owners within the district’s boundaries. Lake Valley’s current fee for its vital community services is $20 per parcel, an amount that has not been increased since 1986. The district’s priority needs are a new fire truck and self-contained breathing packs for individual firefighters.

An existing fire truck and all of the district’s breathing packs are beyond their useful life and must be retired this year.

One example of the problem this presents for Lake Valley, their firefighters cannot legally or safely enter a structure fire without the certified self-contained breathing apparatus each must wear. An option to lease them is more expensive than outright purchase.

Today’s fire trucks must also be properly equipped to handle the more sophisticated hazards faced by firefighters who must confront an ever-wider variety of challenges.

The approval of Measure B, requiring a two-thirds vote, would raise the per parcel fee by $52 per year, for a total of $72. That translates to $6 per month.

The increased revenue will only be used to purchase equipment and cannot be used for salaries or benefits and expenditures will be subject to independent oversight.

Tahoe Chamber understands that if Measure B is not approved, Lake Valley may be forced to reduce its level of service.

Measure M is proposed by El Dorado County, to be voted on by property owners within the South Shore Snow Removal Zone of Benefit.

This zone does not include property owners within the City of South Lake Tahoe. If passed by a two-thirds margin, the $60 per parcel increase is expected to generate some $540,000 per year, solely for the purchase of new snow removal equipment. No funds can be used for salaries or benefits.

According to county officials, the snow removal assessment has not been increased since 1983 while equipment costs have increased 400%.

Their current fleet includes five of seven blowers that are more than 40 years old and 93% of the fleet has been deemed “gross polluters” due to their emission of greenhouse gases. The Tahoe Chamber frequently hears complaints from business owners and residents about the lack of effective and timely snow removal within the county at Lake Tahoe.

Measure M provides an opportunity for affected property owners to address long-standing concerns about their snow removal level of service.

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