My Turn: Tahoe City Marina management shouldn’t distort the truth |

My Turn: Tahoe City Marina management shouldn’t distort the truth

The Tahoe City Marina’s response (“Base marina opinions on fact” Jan. 7 Sierra Sun) to “Tahoe City garage plan is a fishy one” (Dec. 12, 2007 Sierra Sun) basically constitutes an admission of what’s really going on with this project.

First, the Marina defends, rather than denying, that the garage will cost up to $14 million. The UC Berkeley garage is just being finished (Marin Independent Journal Dec. 28, 2007), costing $35 million for 1,000 underground spaces (cost per space equals $35,000). We’re getting between 80 and 90 new spaces primarily above ground for up to $14 million (cost per new space equals $164,000 if we assume 85 new spaces). Why are the Placer County Redevelopment Agency’s spaces costing 450 percent more?

Next, the Marina claims public funds (yours and mine) are being used because the garage is “public.” But so are restaurants, and yet we, the public, don’t build restaurants for the owners ” that’s their job. Even the marina doesn’t deny the garage will benefit them greatly. They can finally move on to the next level of expansion and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Next, the marina admits several trees will be lost, but says don’t worry, someone will plant new ones (like the trees that were promised, but never planted after the Jackpine Street lot was built). Fine, how long will it take for these small trees to even come close to equaling the grandeur of what you and the RDA intend to cut down? Surely not in your or my lifetime.

Next, the marina management needs help in identifying the lost lake views. Why not stand on the sidewalk in front of the proposed building site and try to see through the cars to be parked on the garage roof (as explained at the earlier meeting at Tahoe City PUD). Then go in to Wolfdales for dinner and ask for a table on the deck and tell me what’s happening with what was once a great view there.

But the whopper is the marina’s claim that while facing a probably insurmountable obstacle (having to build a $14-million garage with, heaven forbid, its own money) that the Redevelopment Agency did not come to the marina’s rescue and offer to build a $14-million garage as stated in my earlier guest column.

Marina management: We’re not totally stupid. The RDA did, in fact, come to your rescue and is proposing to build a $14-million garage, which will primarily benefit ” the Tahoe City Marina. This may be why the Placer County Grand Jury agreed to investigate this project.

Next, the marina says it can’t sell the new slips. OK. Will the marina put that in writing for perpetuity? (Often developers agree to one thing to get a permit, then find a reason to go before the same agency a few years later and ask to be relieved of this or that condition). However, assuming these new slips can’t ever be sold, then I assume the 80 new slips may earn about $500,000 a year as earlier reported (or could it be more? The marina management didn’t rebut this figure. Wonder why?)

So, let’s see: We the public pay $14 million and the marina earns $500,000 a year or more? Not bad.

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