Placer County grant program seeking applications for community projects

Submitted to the Sierra Sun

Projects that promote tourism in North Lake Tahoe may have an opportunity to receive funding with Placer County’s 2019-2020 Tourism Master Plan grant program.

The program is designed to support the Tourism Master Plan, approved by the Placer County Board of Supervisors in 2015. The plan provides a road map for transient occupancy tax investment in eastern Placer County, according to a news release. The Master Plan focuses on tourism projects identified in three priority areas including visitor activities and facilities, transportation and visitor information.

Applicants have until noon on Oct. 31 to submit their proposals. Failure to submit any required attachments or complete all required application components will make the proposal incomplete. Incomplete proposals will not be submitted to the Capital Projects Advisory Committee to be scored or considered for funding.

The 2018-2019 program funded 13 projects that met the criteria of the Master Plan grant program and were high priorities within the county’s Tourism Master Plan. The popular “Penny Bear” public art installation in Tahoe City was made permanent with the approval of $40,000 to match efforts undertaken by Tahoe Public Art. The board also approved $1 million to partner with the Truckee Donner Land Trust and Squaw Valley Public Service District to acquire a 30-acre parcel in Olympic Valley for public access, conservation and recreation.

Projects that have previously received funding through the program include trails, wayfinding and interpretive signage, bus shelters, sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure, cultural facilities such as museums, interpretive centers and public art.

The Capital Projects Advisory Committee, a 13-member group representing the broad economic and geographic interests throughout eastern Placer County, will evaluate project proposals based on how well they advance key priorities outlined in the Tourism Master Plan for the region. The committee is co-chaired by the County Executive Office and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and includes members appointed by community organizations representing resorts, small businesses, residents and visitors.

The committee makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on which projects should receive funding allocated from the Transient Occupancy Tax collected from lodging guests in eastern Placer County. By long-standing policy, all TOT revenues collected in eastern Placer County are spent on improvements in eastern Placer County.

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