Financial concerns linger for North Tahoe dog park
August 20, 2013
TAHOE VISTA, Calif. — Financial questions remain after officials approved a site for an off-leash dog park in Tahoe Vista.
On Tuesday, the North Tahoe Public Utility District board of directors voted 4-1 to OK the location of "upper bench," an area near the first tee box at the North Tahoe Regional Park disc golf course.
"We've thrown around the fact that we want to do this right the first time, and this is the right spot to do it," said director Tim Ferrell.
While upper bench's lack of use and adequate space to house the 1.5- to 2-acre dog park made it the favored site, cost remains a concern.
"I'm more about the money," said board vice president John Bergmann. "I think this location is swell up here, but it's not going to be any good if the money is not there to do it."
It will cost roughly $257,400 to convert upper bench into a dog park, $118,200 of which for upgrades to the road leading to the site.
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The district had previously planned to cover road costs, but initial figures were lower than the current estimate.
"We talked potentially $50,000 out of water and sewer operations monies toward building that road," Bergmann said. "… Now it's up to $118,000, so that's (a) substantial different dollar amount. Are we as a board willing … to throw another $70,000 at this project at this time?"
The board took no action regarding funding road repairs.
On Thursday, NTPUD General Manager Paul Schultz said the park's opening wouldn't be dependent on those repairs, as the road is usable.
The nonprofit Dog Day in the Park would be responsible for raising at least $139,200 of project costs.
"We can make the money," said Pam Berger, a Tahoe Vista resident who approached NTPUD about a year and a half ago with the dog park proposal.
Residents and businesses already have offered to hold tournaments and fundraisers, Berger told the board Tuesday.
The nonprofit plans to build the park in phases, Berger said, focusing first on raising money for basics such as fencing, gates and sod.
"Once people can go to the park, then they're more likely to help us raise money to add the (other) amenities," said Berger, who hopes to have the park open next summer.
Ferrell, Bergmann, board chair Lane Lewis and director Sue Daniels voted in favor of upper bench, while director Phil Thompson voted against.