Lake Tahoe parks receive funding for improvements

Lake Tahoe parks are slated to receive $615,000 as part of a five-year capital improvement plan.

The El Dorado County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the funding Tuesday. "It's long overdue," said Dave Solaro, Fifth District supervisor.

For the remaining portion of 2000, $15,000 will go to help the South Tahoe Alliance for Recreation.

"We hope there will be money (from the general fund) to help build new facilities in South Lake Tahoe," said Craven Alcott, who manages parks, recreation and grounds for the county.

Four more ball fields, 25 more miles of bike paths and an ice rink that would develop winter hockey and skating programs are STAR's stated goals.

Over the next four years, depending on how much money is available in the general fund, South Lake Tahoe parks would increasingly receive more money topping out at $150,000 in 2003-'04.

"I think the county has put several parks elsewhere in the county and has realized South Lake Tahoe's needs," Solaro said. "If Proposition 12 passes, it gives us the chance to look for additional funding for parks."

Solaro is pleased with the attention parks are receiving in South Shore, especially for the community's youth. "It's one of the things I campaigned on," he said.

More than $200,000 was spent on a 1989 county-initiated plan for a 400-acre, multi-use regional park in South Lake Tahoe. The Golden Bear project was abandoned after several attempts to create a master plan and compile necessary environmental documents failed.

There was a lack of resident consensus concerning the project, which led to its demise.

The STAR project has worked with the city of South Lake Tahoe, school districts, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other governmental agencies in order to find park sites and locate funding sources. The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce has also partnered with a group of citizens to find funding alternatives.

"This whole plan was developed by consensus," Solaro said, "It really was a community collaborative effort."

The county has already spent $100,000 on creating a new master plan and getting feedback from the public.


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