Placer County approves funding for trail upgrades and visitor facilities | SierraSun.com

Placer County approves funding for trail upgrades and visitor facilities

Submitted to the Sun

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved $547,774 in transient occupancy tax funding last week for trail upgrades and visitor facilities in Eastern Placer County recommended by the Capital Projects Advisory Committee.

The first of three projects, approved for $175,000, focuses on infrastructure improvements to Squaw Valley Park in Olympic Valley. The proposed improvements to the parking lot, bike trail and other paved surfaces would provide trail access during the winter, helping to keep the park open year-round.

The board also approved $105,000 for a feasibility study of two concept proposals to redevelop three buildings associated with the old Tahoe City firehouse near Commons Beach.

Finally, the board approved $267,774 to fund an environmental analysis for the proposed Tahoe Cross Country Lodge replacement and expansion project located in Tahoe City, which would reconstruct the historic Schilling Lodge to serve year-round activities and services.

The Capital Projects Advisory Committee, a 13-member group representing the broad economic and geographic interests throughout Eastern Placer County, evaluates project proposals based on how well they advance key priorities outlined in the county's Tourism Master Plan for the region.

The committee makes recommendations to the county Board of Supervisors on which projects should receive funding allocated from transient occupancy tax collected from lodging guests in eastern Placer County.

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The proposed Squaw Valley Ski Museum project was not recommended for funding but invited to submit a revised grant proposal after the appropriate level of environmental analysis for the project has been determined.

In July, the board approved the committee's recommendation of 18 proposed projects that met the criteria of the grant program and are high priorities within the Tourism Master Plan.

Over 70 percent of the approved TOT funds will go to projects that focus on trail planning and construction. Several trail projects are part of the Resort Triangle Trail system, which is planned to connect the North Lake Tahoe town centers Tahoe City and Kings Beach with nearby mountain resorts and Truckee through the state route 89, 28 and 267 corridors.