Tahoe utility district scales back with state cuts looming | SierraSun.com

Tahoe utility district scales back with state cuts looming

Kyle Magin
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; The Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors took precautions this week to the tune of reduced service levels at local parks to combat the possibility of the state borrowing some property tax revenues.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed the state borrow up to 8 percent of special districtand#8217;s property tax during the 2009-2010 fiscal year to help offset the stateand#8217;s $24 billion projected deficit, according to a TCPUD press release.

The proposal hasnand#8217;t yet passed through the state capitol, but, as a precautionary move, the TCPUD board on Tuesday accepted about $210,000 in cuts, or 4 percent of this yearand#8217;s budget, said Cindy Gustafson, TCPUD general manager.

and#8220;All we can do is best protect our taxpayers and rate payers and make those reductions now,and#8221; Gustafson said. and#8220;And we have to remain hopeful the state wonand#8217;t take those funds and we can continue to provide excellent services.and#8221;

District staff presented the board with about $250,000 in reductions, including possibly halting upgrades to district softball fields, but those were declined, Gustafson said.

Reductions will come in a number of ways, including shrinking district seasonal staff at the end of August, from 11 to five employees.

Recommended Stories For You

Other reductions include halting contruction on existing small park projects, including bike trail signage, bocce ball courts and a dog park. These projects may be constructed if outside funding, grants and sponsorships are secured.

Gustafson said the public will see impacts in less regular sweeping of the bike paths and less bathroom cleaning of the districtand#8217;s parks.

She said since the PUD operates on a calendar year budget instead of the typical July 1 to June 30 fiscal budget, the other 4 percent will come from the 2010 budget, which is set for approval in November.

It isnand#8217;t yet known if the state will act on the governorand#8217;s proposal to borrow the funds from the special districts like TCPUD, but if so, the state will have three years to pay the borrowed funds back with interest.