TDVA approves Kahle bond |

TDVA approves Kahle bond

Michael Schneider

The Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority approved a county bond issue to construct Phase II of Kahle Community Park. It differed from the one approved by the county last week.

The TDVA-approved bond sale has a cap of $1.96 million, about $200,000 less than that of the county’s.

Jennifer Stern, of Swendseid & Stern, the firm that handles bonding for Douglas County, said she doesn’t think the TDVA can put a cap on the bond issue since it doesn’t have control over county room tax until next spring.

Assembly Bill 616, passed by the Nevada State Legislature in 1997, created the TDVA to eventually oversee the distribution of the bulk of county Transient Occupancy Tax dollars toward the promotion of Lake Tahoe.

According to Mike Bradford, president of the Lakeside Inn and Casino, the county formerly gave the bulk of its TOT – a percentage of room takes collected from hotels – to Tahoe tourism promotion.

Bradford said during the 1980s when Tahoe was enjoying a booming economy there was little need to promote the lake, so TOT was used to build Carson Valley amenities such as a senior center near.

When the economy in Tahoe took a downturn in the early 1990s, Bradford said the casinos called on the county to spend money to revive the Tahoe economy. He said prior commissioners didn’t see the need to market the lake, so the casinos petitioned the Legislature to give them the bulk of the TOT.

The county currently enjoys 65 percent of the TOT while Tahoe promotion gets about 35 percent. Beginning June 1999, the tax structure will start shifting and by 2007, the county will get 35 percent while the TDVA will have 65 percent.

However, AB 616 does not place restrictions on the TOT until this coming June.

TDVA members were adamant they wanted Phase II of the park to be built. Phase II includes a recreation center with a basketball court, two volleyball courts, a jogging track, a weight room with cardiovascular equipment, a child care center, and an indoor playground.

Kevin Servatius, Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino’s TDVA representative, said he has two sons in the community and wanted the community to know the casino core supports the park.

“We need a place to shoot hoops and have fun,” said Brett Schusser, a Whittell High School freshman.

Kelly Gardner, who serves on the county’s Parks and Recreation Commission, said, should the monetary amount of the bond sale be limited, the new Kahle gym floor would likely have to wait to be installed until more funds can be found.

Skip Sayer, TDVA representative from Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, moved the board approve the bond sale with the $1.96 million cap.

Sandy Hoy, the Horizon Casino Resort’s representative, seconded the motion saying she understood the wrangling that went into the original deal the TDVA approved last March.

“If it winds up being more, we can come back and revisit it,” Hoy said.

County Manager Dan Holler said the current flavor of the investment market would bring the bond issue in at slightly less than the TDVA cap. Those figures can change between now and the actual bond issue.

The TDVA vote was 3 to 1 in favor of the bond sale with the $1.96 million cap with Douglas commission representative Steve Weissinger opposed.

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