Placer County proposes increased infrastructure and transportation investment in eastern Placer County, more community involvement in prioritizing projects

Published on May 03, 2017

Placer County will host three open house discussions in North Lake Tahoe next week to outline a proposed shift in prioritizing county services in the region. In a move expected to increase investment in infrastructure and transit, Placer County staff is proposing to assume responsibility for leading community participation in prioritizing those projects, a service previously managed by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association under contract with the county.

The proposed budget and its funding for the resort association requires the approval of the Placer County Board of Supervisors as part of the county’s upcoming new fiscal year budget.

With the shift, Placer expects to save about $300,000 each year by reducing duplicative coordination efforts and associated administrative costs. That money would be directly invested in additional public transportation and infrastructure projects in Lake Tahoe that benefit visitors and residents. Placer would continue to contract with NLTRA for marketing services, with more than $3.6 million in funding for that proposed in next year’s budget, a nearly 10 percent increase over this year.

By re-focusing the contract, the county expects that the resort association will be able to do an even better job of marketing North Lake Tahoe as a tourism destination. The transient occupancy taxes that fund the contract with NLTRA are not spent directly on county management of these resources and no additional funds would be allocated to county administrative or overhead costs under this proposal.

Meeting details:

Kings Beach
May 8, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
North Tahoe Event Center
8318 North Lake Blvd.

Tahoe City
May 11, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Placer County Administrative Center, downstairs conference room
775 North Lake Blvd.

Olympic Valley
May 12, 8 a.m. to noon
Squaw Valley Public Service District conference room
305 Squaw Valley Road

The proposed changes will also be discussed at the upcoming Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council (May 4 at 6 p.m.) and North Lake Tahoe Regional Advisory Council (May 11 at 6 p.m.) meetings.  

“The resort association has provided guidance on our investments in eastern Placer County for years, and we still have a lot of work left to do together,” said Jennifer Merchant, deputy county executive officer for Lake Tahoe. “This change is about having even more engagement with our communities about our investment priorities, and the money we’ll save will directly result in more of the projects our residents want to see.”

Each year, transient occupancy tax is collected from area guests and is used to fund the marketing of North Lake Tahoe and for local services and projects. Most of these activities have been conducted by the resort association. When the county first contracted with the resort association in 1996, it had limited staff and resources in North Lake Tahoe and relied on the resort association to market North Lake Tahoe and recommend how to prioritize transportation and infrastructure goals outlined in the county’s Tourism Master Plan. With an increased presence in Lake Tahoe in recent years, the county is poised to do more for the community.

Placer County proposes to quickly establish a committee comprised of business owners, local residents and stakeholders to review and prioritize county investments in North Lake Tahoe projects so the group will be up to speed by the annual “call for projects” in the fall. This will ensure continued broad-based participation in how local tax dollars are spent. A draft roster of community representatives, most to be appointed by individual organizations, will be available at the meetings.