Placer County approves $3.5 million to go towards Resort Triangle trail systems | SierraSun.com

Placer County approves $3.5 million to go towards Resort Triangle trail systems

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

The Placer County Board of Supervisors has approved $4.9 million to fund the construction of trails and other capital projects in eastern Placer County.

Of the $4.9 million approved, over $3.5 million will be allocated to trail construction in the "Resort Triangle" area, a transportation network that connects Tahoe City, Kings beach and Truckee along Highways 89, 28 and 267.

Currently a paved trail exists from Dollar Point through Tahoe City to Squaw Valley resort. The trail picks back up in Truckee at the Legacy Bike Trail and stops near the Truckee Airport. The Resort Triangle trail project aims to connect all sections of the trail, allowing residents and visitors an alternative form of transportation around North Lake Tahoe.

This year, the Capital Projects Advisory Committee, a 13-member group tasked with evaluating project proposals in the region, reviewed and evaluated 29 grant applications totaling over $36 million in Transient Occupancy Tax funding requests. The committee ultimately presented 18 projects to the board that were all intended to promote tourism and align with the county's Tourism Master Plan.

"Two of those proposals would help us to address some of those areas that are not connected," said Erin Casey of the Placer County Executive Office regarding the Resort Triangle trail system.

The remaining funds will go towards transportation and visitor facilities, including a visitor center at Donner Summit, a performing arts center at Northstar and parking facilities and bike repair stations in Tahoe City.

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"The submitted projects are diverse and truly reflect the different needs and interests of our North Lake Tahoe residents and visitors," said Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. "I applaud the Capital Projects Advisory Committee for the hard work and dedication to the goals outlined in the Tourism Master Plan."

Of the 10 percent of Transient Occupancy Tax funds collected in eastern Placer County, 2 percent is allocated towards priority projects in the Tourism Master Plan, including trail construction and visitor facilities. However, there is currently a $100 million funding gap for these projects.

In the past few months, the county, along with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, polled voters in the area about a possible local tax increase. According to a press release from the county, the results "showed solid backing" for a transient occupancy tax increase and "more moderate support" for an increase in the sales tax rate.

The board will discuss a tax raise and other initiatives to increase funding at a later meeting.

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