American Rescue Plan Act - Funding Proposals

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021 which established a $130 billion Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery (CLFR) Fund to provide funds for cities, counties and special districts in order to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The City of South Lake Tahoe as a Non-Entitlement Government (population under 50,000) will be allocated $5,309,994 in CLFR funding in two tranches from the California Department of Finance.

Within the categories of eligible uses, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities. Below is a list of projects that align with the City's 2021-2026 Strategic Plan:

Bijou/Al Tahoe Area Master Plan

Associated Strategic Goal 1.2; Cost of Project $500k

The City adopted the Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan in 1995 in order to encourage rehabilitation of the area generally along Lake Tahoe Blvd. from Fairway Ave. to the Trout Creek bridge and along Al Tahoe Blvd. to the Lake Tahoe Community College. The Community Plan was intended to serve as a guide for land use decisions in the area until 2007. The Community Plan has been amended several times since adoption but a comprehensive update has not occurred. In 2012, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency updated the Regional Plan to include a process for the development of Area Plans, which allows for additional flexibility in regional regulations and opportunities to incentivize redevelopment consistent with the TRPA Regional Plan and City General Plan. 

The City adopted the Bijou Community Park Master Plan in 1989 to guide development and use of the park. Bijou Park is now developed with a disc golf course, skate park, BMX park, dog park and agility course, playground, picnic areas, volleyball court, basketball/roller derby court, and restrooms. Creating a new Bijou Community Park Master Plan will provide the opportunity for the community to participate in creating new guidance for rehabilitation, operation, and future uses in the park.

As part of this Area Plan and Park Master Plan effort, the Bijou Creek meadow and Bijou Golf Course area will be evaluated for potential future uses consistent with environmental protection and community benefit goals.

Housing Stock for Local Housing Needs

Associated Strategic Goal 1.3; Cost of Project $500k

Strategies to address the current challenges surrounding affordable housing in the City of South Lake Tahoe must involve a broad spectrum of action items. One important action is the preservation and optimized use of existing housing stock for local housing needs. The $500,000 in proposed funding from the American Rescue Plan Act would provide critical funding to bolster the City’s efforts in improving and retaining existing housing stock for local housing needs. The allocation of this money toward improving and retaining housing infrastructure is a strategic move that will improve local housing conditions and increase the ability to acquire additional funds to further these efforts.    

Deferred Maintenance for Development Services

Associated Strategic Goal 5.3; Cost of Project $80k

The City maintains infrastructure assets that fall into a number of different categories including: buildings, roads, vehicles and equipment, and storm water and park facilities. While the City has invested in the acquisition and development of new assets since incorporation, the inventory has substantially aged, creating the need to either replace or substantially rehabilitate some assets. The City Services Center, located at 1052 Tata Lane, provides offices and public services for the Development Services Department (Planning, Building and Housing).  The building was originally built in the 1960s and is in need of rehabilitation to address deferred maintenance issues. Funds would be used to replace HVAC equipment, resurface parking and driveways, replace fencing, interior and exterior painting, and repair damage caused by roof leaks.

Climate Action Plan Reach Code Analysis 

Associated Strategic Goal 1.5; Cost of Project $50k

In October 2020, the City Council adopted its first Climate Action Plan (CAP) which will serve as a long-term plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from community activities, as well as prepare for the impacts of climate change.  One of many GHG reduction strategies contained in the CAP is to “Reduce Energy Consumption, Improve Efficiency, and Install Renewable Energy in New Construction.” To implement this strategy, the CAP directs the City to explore potential “reach” codes that include energy efficiency measures beyond state requirements for new construction. As part of the exploration process, the City is proposing to conduct an economic analysis of a variety of green building standard options, that are developed from community participation, to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of each option.

Multi-Generational Recreation & Aquatics Support Funding

Associated Strategic Goal 1.2; Cost of Project $1m

In 2016 voters passed Measure P to fund recreation improvements, beginning with the construction of a new multi-generational recreation and aquatics complex. Following years of public input, the City is now in the final design phase for a 63,000 square foot facility and on target to begin construction in 2022. At the time of construction, the City will have accumulated nearly $15 million in Measure P revenue and will make up the additional cost of construction through bonds and grant funding. With an additional $1 million in ARPA funding toward the project, the City will be able to reduce the bond issuance and long term debt obligation, which will free up future Measure P revenue for other recreation projects identified in the Recreation Master Plan.

Bijou Park Recreation Improvements to the Skatepark

Associated Strategic Goal 5.3; Cost of Project $250k

The skatepark was built through a volunteer effort in the late 1990s and had a small expansion completed by volunteers in 2008. The skatepark is the most used amenity in Bijou Community Park. Park maintenance staff report the concrete is cracking and crumbling, with pits forming on the riding surface. Small repairs to patch the holes are frequently needed, and each winter the surface continues to deteriorate. Skateboarding provides a positive, healthy outlet for youth and adults of all ages. As the newest Olympic sport, it will continue to rise in popularity. By investing in a renovation and expansion of the skateboard park and improved restroom facilities, the City will provide access to inexpensive, safe, fun, and healthy recreation alternatives for youth, and support the growing demand for quality skateboarding in South Lake Tahoe.

Bijou Park Recreation Improvements to the BMX Track

Associated Strategic Goal 5.3; Cost of Project $35k

The Bijou Bike Park Association (BBPA) partnered with the City of South Lake Tahoe to design and build the bike park in 2015. BBPA entered into an agreement with the City for continued maintenance of the bike park features. Since 2015, the bike park has been discovered by many local riders, visitors, and athletes from all over the world, resulting in excessive use year-round. In 2018, BBPA presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission some ideas to improve the BMX track, as dirt obstacles began to deteriorate with increased usage. Specifically, the recommended improvements include laying asphalt on three main berms and the start hill to reduce erosion, reduce maintenance, reduce water use, and improve safety. The BMX track is the most widely used section of the bike park features, because all levels of riders from striders, to novice, to expert and pro-level riders are able to negotiate the dirt obstacles. During the pandemic the bike park proved to be a great way to social distance in a safe, outdoor recreation experience and continues to attract local and visiting riders of all ages and abilities. This small investment will improve safety, reduce erosion, reduce water use, lower maintenance demands, and create a lasting, quality park amenity.

Solar Trash Compacting

Associated Strategic Goal 1.5; Cost of Project $50k

Solar trash compacting trash cans are an innovative way to collect more refuse in a single receptacle. The large solar-powered receptacles have electronic capacity monitoring systems. As refuse is deposited, the system tracks the refuse level and when it reaches "full" capacity, the unit triggers the compaction feature. This cycle continues until the trash collected is up to eight times more refuse than the current bear box containers throughout the City. During the summer of 2021, the City placed four solar compactor units in high-volume locations to test the effectiveness of the product. If the results are favorable, the City would use these funds to purchase more receptacles to place throughout town, reducing the number of overflowing bins during peak visitation periods and reducing labor needed to perform refuse collection.

Regan Beach Improvements

Associated Strategic Goal 2.1; Cost of Project $1.3m

In 2014, the City conducted public outreach and issued a community survey to gather input on desired improvements at Regan Beach. The City produced a conceptual plan that would be considered once a funding source was identified. This initial funding would allow the City to begin much needed improvements, such as parking lot infrastructure including ADA improvements, landscape upgrades, fencing, and walkway paver repair. The plan also includes renovation of the restroom infrastructure, which would replace the need for unsightly porta-potties, and adds outdoor foot-washing stations to keep sand out of the restroom plumbing system to reduce or eliminate pump failures often resulting in restroom closures.

Ski Run Park Infrastructure

Associated Strategic Goal 2.2; Cost of Project $150k

In June 2021, the City acquired a half-acre parcel on Ski Run Blvd. at Willow and Spruce Ave. through a public/private partnership with the Friends of Ski Run (Friends), a non-profit organization. The City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Friends to design, construct, and maintain the park. The park may include both passive and active recreation amenities desired by residents, such as play structures, seating and picnic areas, and native garden features. Concept plans are underway and public meetings will take place to be sure the park is driven by community desires that fit the size and constraints of the parcel. These funds, combined with fundraising efforts by Friends, will help pay for the cost of park development.

Bike Trail Connections/Infrastructure

Associated Strategic Goal 1.4 & 2.3; Cost of Project $250k

In order to improve active transportation options and connectivity throughout the community, the City proposes conducting an analysis and developing a plan that would determine appropriate locations for bike repair stations, charging stations, bike racks, and bike lockers. The study would also identify funding sources for the installation of infrastructure, including bike-trail gap closures, signage, and the purchase of bicycles for community use.

Broadband Infrastructure

Associated Strategic Goal 1.1; Cost of Project $400k

The broadband infrastructure analysis and technical support for conduit connectivity/redundancy project will assist in connecting local businesses and residents in the community to high-speed internet. Installing such infrastructure will help to attract remote workers, while stimulating the local economy. The project will develop a broadband infrastructure deployment plan that identifies fiber hubs, last-mile transit, relay points, and redundancy, and will install conduit.

Ruby Way - Overlook Court Drainage & Erosion Control Project

Associated Strategic Goal 5.3; Cost of Project $1.4m

The drainage and erosion control project is eligible for APRA funding as a stormwater improvement project utilizing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff pollution and address historic drainage and flooding issues that impact downstream affordable multi-family housing. The project is ‘shovel ready’ with the California Environmental Quality Act and construction documents complete. The project only needs a California Tahoe Conservancy license agreement and funding in order to advertise for construction bids.

Johnson Boulevard Complete Streets Project

Associated Strategic Goal 1.4 & 2.3; Cost of Project $300k

This project will implement a complete streets design on Johnson Blvd. from Al Tahoe Blvd. to US Hwy 50 (a complete street is a transportation facility that is planned, designed, operated, and maintained to provide safe mobility for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit vehicles, etc.). It includes a narrowing of the roadway and a dedicated bikeway with separated right-of-way from vehicular traffic (Class 1 Bike Trail) on the east side of Johnson Blvd. The bikeway will provide connections to the future Bijou Bike Trail and Greenway Bike Trail, as well as a connection to the El Dorado to Ski Run Bike Trail along the highway. The City is currently working with Liberty Utilities on a project that will underground overhead utilities along this scenic corridor.

Tahoe Valley Greenbelt & Stormwater Improvement Project

Associated Strategic Goal 5.3; Cost of Project $2m

The project provides both community amenities (bike paths, public gathering space, and a playground) and improved drainage and stormwater treatment systems that will use native meadow vegetation to expand flood plain areas and create detention capacity for stormwater treatment. The construction project is eligible for APRA funding as a stormwater improvement project utilizing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff pollution and address historic drainage and flooding issues that impact downstream affordable multi-family housing. The project is ‘shovel ready’ with California Environmental Quality Act, design, construction plans, and specification currently being completed for construction bidding. Construction will be phased through 2022 and 2023.

Fire Station 3 Remodel

Associated Strategic Goal 5.3; Cost of Project $900k

Built in 1957, the Fire Station 3 remodel would modernize the outdated facilities by improving infection prevention measures and ventilation for shared-living and work quarters. As the future of pandemics is uncertain, these funds would allow the City to implement safety and environmental remediation measures in the existing facility to protect the fire fighters and the public as SLTFR continues to respond to high-risk calls. In addition, the project includes an upgraded HVAC system and update of facilities to accommodate an all-gender workforce and provide for inclusivity.

Revitalization of Rocky Point Neighborhood

Associated Strategic Goal 2.2; Cost of Project $500k

This project proposes to revitalize the Rocky Point neighborhood by leveraging funds to implement improvements consistent with the City's resolution to build up the neighborhood. These improvements have been identified as housing construction/preservation/rehabilitation efforts, traffic calming improvements, and pedestrian and bicycle connectivity improvements.  

Art Program Funding

Associated Strategic Goal 3.3; Cost of Project $100k

Funding would support strategic cultural and arts investments that benefit residents and visitors and enhance quality of life. The investments made through this funding would allow us to develop the desired state of arts and culture for our community. Public art, which is one example of an investment, would add value to the cultural, aesthetic, and economic vitality of our community.

Feasibility Analysis of Annexation

Associated Strategic Goal 5.4; Cost of Project $100k

This funding would go toward analyzing whether the City boundary should be expanded to better serve the community. Currently, many residents of unincorporated El Dorado County within the Lake Tahoe Basin use City services, but do not have an opportunity to vote because they are not City residents. The analysis would include whether annexation of certain portions of El Dorado County would be cost-effective.

Spanish Interpreter Services for City Council & Planning Commission/Survey for Cultural Makeup

Associated Strategic Goal 3.2; Cost of Project $25k

Funding would provide for Spanish interpretation service expenses for City Council and Planning Commission meetings in 2021-2022. This service will increase accessibility, engagement, and outreach to targeted, disadvantaged persons. Funding would also support a consultant to provide survey data analyses of the cultural make-up of our community to further identify and expand community outreach.