$3.4 million to go toward North Tahoe capital projects | SierraSun.com

$3.4 million to go toward North Tahoe capital projects

Over $3.4 million in Transient Occupancy Tax funds has been approved for seven capital projects in North Lake Tahoe by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, with a majority going towards trail construction.

“We’re so fortunate to have these TOT funds to reinvest in our community,” said Supervisor Bonnie Gore.

Trail construction within the Resort Triangle, a transportation network that connects Tahoe City, Kings Beach and Truckee along Highways 89, 28 and 267, was the No. 1 ranked project and was awarded $1.6 million. At No. 2 was the Martis Valley Trail, a proposed 9-mile trail connecting Northstar Village with the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Town of Truckee which was awarded $500,000.

Other high priority projects included trail head improvements for the Truckee Trails Foundation, which was awarded $202,000 to install wayfinding signs and restrooms at Big Chief Trail, Five Creeks Trail and Sawtooth Trail. The Truckee Donner Land Trust received $250,000 for construction of a section of the Emigrant Trail at Donner Lake and the Donner Summit Association received $136,800 to upgrade an existing trail head on Donner Summit with restrooms.

“These projects are all high ranked projects, very clear tier one projects and no issues have been raised regarding any of these projects,” said Erin Casey, Placer County principal management analyst.

The SNOW Sports Museum, which memorializes the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley was awarded $225,000 in addition to the $337,000 it has already received in TOT funds for planning, public outreach and fundraising. The county also awarded $535,000 to The Stages at Northstar, a proposed theatre and outdoor amphitheater.

The county allocates 2% of the total 10% of Transient Occupancy Tax that is collected in Eastern Placer County towards the Tourism Master Plan. Since the 2% increase was approved by voters in 1996 more than $45 million has been allocated to capital projects, leveraging over $300 million in local, state and federal matching funds.

In March, 2018 the Capital Projects Advisory Committee was formed, a 13-member group with representatives from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Placer County, business associations, special districts and ski resorts, to recommend how the TOT funds collected should be spent. This year they reviewed 19 applications in the fall which totaled over $7.8 million in requests.

The Tourism Master Plan project list was updated in 2019 and currently has a $200 million funding gap.

“As we are recommending projects and making decisions we have limited resources and funds,” said Casey.

Additionally she said the funding gap does not include workforce housing or capital replacement costs.

“The funding gap is more significant than the $200 million,” she said.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.

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