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Placer approves funding for more trails, visitor facilities in eastern Placer County

July 25, 2018

The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved $4.9 million in funding for trail planning and construction as well as other capital projects in eastern Placer County recommended by the Capital Projects Advisory Committee.

The Capital Projects Advisory Committee – a 13-member group representing the broad economic and geographic interests throughout eastern Placer County – evaluates project proposals based on how well they advance key priorities outlined in the county’s Tourism Master Plan for the region.

The committee makes recommendations to the county Board of Supervisors on which projects should receive funding allocated from transient occupancy tax collected from lodging guests in eastern Placer County.

This year, the Capital Projects Advisory Committee, co-chaired by the county and North Lake Resort Association, reviewed and evaluated 29 grant applications totaling over $36 million in TOT funding requests.

“The submitted projects are diverse and truly reflect the different needs and interests of our North Lake Tahoe residents and visitors,” said Placer County District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “I applaud the Capital Projects Advisory Committee for the hard work and dedication to the goals outlined in the Tourism Master Plan.”

The committee recommended to the board 18 proposed projects that met the criteria of the grant program and are high priorities within the Tourism Master Plan. The remaining projects are still being considered by the committee and will be brought before the board later this year.

Over 70 percent of the approved TOT funds will go to projects that focus on trail planning and construction. Several trail projects are part of the Resort Triangle Trail System, which connects the North Lake Tahoe town centers Tahoe City and Kings Beach with nearby mountain resorts and Truckee through the state route 89, 28 and 267 corridors. 

The remaining approved projects focus on transportation and visitor facilities, including a visitor center at Donner Summit, a performing arts center at Northstar and parking facilities and bike repair stations in Tahoe City. A full list of the approved projects is available here.

Staff will return to the board at a later date with agreements and budget revisions for the approved projects.

Acknowledging a $100 million funding gap for projects designated as Tourism Master Plan priorities in eastern Placer County, county staff also briefed the board on a series of efforts currently underway that could lead to more funding for future projects.

In recent months, the county worked with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association to poll area voters about their support for possible local tax increases. Poll results showed solid backing for an increase in the transient occupancy tax rate and more moderate support for an increase in the sales tax rate.

County staff also worked to place a provision in a proposed state law that would re-authorize a local transportation district, which could lead to better funding flexibility for broader transportation initiatives like trails. 

The board took no action on these initiatives but staff will continue to explore their feasibility and return to the board for consideration of any next steps needed to propose them.

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