Olympic Valley service district awards contract for grant seeking

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The Olympic Valley Public Service District on Friday renewed a contract with a company which will allow the district to apply for more grant funding.

The district had a $10,000 contract with Feather River Forestry to help the district find and apply for grant funding. The renewed contract was approved for $20,000 which will allow the district to apply for three to four grants over the next year. 

Director Katy Hover-Smoot asked staff to consider the cost of hiring additional staff versus the cost of the contract. Staff assured the board that this contract is currently the more cost effective path. 

The contract was approved 3-0, with Directors Bill Hudson and Katrina Smolen being absent from the meeting. 

The meeting was originally scheduled for Feb. 28 but had to be moved due to the blizzard conditions.

During the meeting, the board also received an update on the fuels management program for the summer. The district is planning on hosting six chipper days and six green waste days starting in May, depending on the amount of snow on the ground. The district is receiving funding help from Palisades and Friends of Olympic Valley, as well as discounts from Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal. 

District Manager Mike Geary updated the board on the Olympic Valley Mutual Advisory Council and North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council joint meeting regarding ski traffic issues, which he attended. 

Geary is planning on sending letters offering solutions to the resorts and public officials. He said the district will be pushing for the widening of State Route 89 to allow for a third lane to be used by public transit services. 

Longterm, he is pushing for widening of the mouse-hole, a monorail service or a gondola that starts off the mountain. 

“It’s frustrating that a solution like that isn’t even on the table,” Geary said. 

Hover-Smoot, who also attended the meeting, said she is also sending letters and making calls. She said she is also pushing for the third lane and stated that it could also be used for fire evacuation, which might make the state more likely to provide funding for the project. 

Fire Chief Allen Riley updated the board on the avalanche that hit an Olympic Valley condo on Tuesday, Feb. 28. 

The avalanche hit a four-unit condo building, shattering windows on the second and third floors. While some of the units were occupied, no one was injured. He thanked all the agencies who helped with the response. 

He also thanked Palisades for providing their search and rescue dogs to help look for people and Plumpjacks for providing room and board for people impacted by the avalanche. The Placer County Building Department is currently determining the safety of the building before it can be reoccupied. 

The next meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 28.

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