TRPA reviews issues |

TRPA reviews issues

Andy Bourelle

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board received an update this week on the progress of the Environmental Improvement Program.

TRPA staff highlighted the idea that an “integration team” will need to be established in order to make sure projects are carried out.

“We need to operate as a team, if we’re going to generate $900 million,” said Jim Baetge, TRPA executive director.

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit supported the idea.

“There needs to be a place where all of us can come to coordinate our efforts so there is no overlapping each other,” said Juan Palma, LTBMU forest supervisor, to the board.

Baetge said significant work has been completed around the lake recently.

However, he said at the current rate, Lake Tahoe’s clarity still would not be preserved.

“We still have to have major acceleration of the pace,” Baetge said.

Other items addressed at the TRPA Wednesday meeting included:

n TRPA staff presented an update on the Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Based on what the MPO working group has come up with, the Tahoe MPO board will be made up of the 14 voting members of the TRPA governing board and one representative from the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

The TMPO would provide direction for the Tahoe Transportation Commission, which also will be created, made up primarily of members of the Tahoe Transportation District.

The TTC would serve as a management team for developing projects and providing direction for the strategies and the use of funds. Also, the commission will be the forum for residents, public agencies and others to comment on transportation plans.

Baetge said the MPO would help coordinate transportation project efforts.

“One of the driving forces of the whole thing is to streamline – not create – more structure,” he said.

By creating the TMPO, Lake Tahoe would be able to compete with other western urban areas for federal money.

Lake Tahoe could receive, each year, an estimated minimum of $200,000 for transportation planning and $500,000 for transportation projects.

Millions of dollars potentially are available.

Baetge estimated 90 percent of the improvements funded because of the MPO status would have a direct impact on improving the water quality of the lake.

Both governors of California and Nevada and local government agencies representing at least 75 percent of the affected population must approve the MPO.

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