At Lake Level May 2021 The official newsletter of the City of South Lake Tahoe

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The City of South Lake Tahoe is pleased to publish its monthly newsletter - "At Lake Level." You can sign up for the newsletter, and other City News, by texting JOIN NEWS to 30890 or clicking here. The monthly newsletter is prepared by the City Manager's Office in an effort to keep our community well-informed about City issues and initiatives.

City of South Lake Tahoe partners with Clean Tahoe for the 5th Annual Spring Clean Event

It’s time to spruce up our neighborhoods! Clean Tahoe is partnering with the City of South Lake Tahoe to coordinate our 5th Annual Spring Clean event on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Cleanup begins at 9:00am at various locations throughout town, and all volunteers will get a free lunch and raffle ticket to enter a drawing for cool local prizes. Please register and select your cleanup location at the event webpage .

Join the Al Tahoe Firewise Community in participating in “Wildfire Community Preparedness Day”

The Nationally certified Al Tahoe Firewise Community is asking Al Tahoe residents to recognize that the threat of wildfire is becoming increasingly prevalent and dangerous, posing greater risks to people and property, more than ever before. What you do to prepare defensible space around your home matters in the event of a wildfire.

On Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Saturday May 1st, Al Tahoe residents can meet some of their Al Tahoe Community Firewise “Team Leaders” at 768 Los Angeles Ave. between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. (Covid-19 protocols apply)

“Wildfire Community Preparedness Day” is a great day to create defensible space around your home. Rake and remove pine needles and combustibles, trim or remove limbs, trees and overgrown vegetation, move wood piles at least 30 feet from the house, and prepare an emergency evacuation "GO BAG."

Pick up a "GO BAG" filled with defensible space and emergency evacuation information for you and your neighbor and learn more about the benefits of being a Firewise USA district. Also available will be the “Time and Expense” volunteer record sheets where you can record the number of hours spent mitigating fire danger on your property, and the costs related to home hardening and defensible space preparation. Every filled garbage bag, can, or truck load of combustible debris, and volunteer hours spent mitigating fire danger on your property, will be documented on our Al Tahoe Firewise report, which is required annually, in order to maintain Al Tahoe’s National Firewise certification. DO YOUR PART on May 1st to help meet one of the Al Tahoe Firewise Community’s primary goals on our Action Plan which is to reduce combustibles in our district by 50% over the next 3 years.

Be FIREWISE: Put Safety FIRST on Saturday May FIRST!

For more information, or to get on our Al Tahoe Firewise Community email list, you may send a request to altahoefirewise@gmail.com.

Orange Tier Status Permits Indoor Pool Operations at Recreation Center with Modifications

Recent trends throughout the State and County indicate lower incidents of community spread and increased availability of vaccines prompted State health officials to authorize El Dorado County to move into the orange tier effective April 7. Since the announcement, City staff have been busy recruiting and training staff and preparing the pool for safe operations under the California Department of Public Health Guidelines for Indoor Pools. As of April 26, 2021, the Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to announce the re-opening of the City pool for the first time since November 2020!

A variety of pool programs will roll out within the first two weeks of operations with the goal of expanding hours and offerings as resources allow. The initial programs include lap swim, water exercise, and swim team training (both High School and Tahoe Swim Club). Each activity is subject to a reservation to allow patrons enough time to swim while maintaining social distancing. Time is scheduled between each reservation for staff to disinfect the facility. Although the process is more time and labor intensive, staff and patrons alike are thrilled to see each other and share the benefits of aquatic exercise once again. To reserve your swim session please go here.

Patrons will be pleased to know the pool is clean and pristine after the prolonged closure. During the closure, the City’s Facility Department took the opportunity to perform a thorough inspection and conducted necessary maintenance and repair of critical equipment and infrastructure. The pool was drained and resurfaced, lines repainted, pump replaced, and electrical inspected. Built in 1975, some pool infrastructure was found to be at or near failing including the wiring for the pool lights and pully system for the pool dome removal. As a result, after 40 years of removing the pool dome every summer, the dome will need to stay in place this summer due to the high-risk nature of dome removal following the failure of the critical infrastructure needed to hoist the dome on and off. To mitigate the build-up of heat and moisture as outside temperatures rise, the City will be installing vents in the dome to improve air circulation. The vents will be installed at the end of May and may require an interruption in pool programs for a day or two.

In the meantime, the new recreation and aquatics center is taking shape and the public can follow the process on the project website here. The existing facility is anticipated to stay open during construction of the new facility so as not to interrupt recreation programs (outside of a global pandemic). The department does plan on rolling out additional recreation amenities within the Recreation Complex as conditions permit. To learn more go here.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Employee Spotlight: Sallie Ross

If you have ever called Fire Station 3, the headquarters station for South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue, you most likely heard the voice of our Administrative Assistant Sallie Ross on the other end of the line. Her voice has a perfect blend of positivity and professionalism that gives the person calling a calming reassurance that their questions or issues will be made a priority and taken care of to the best of her ability. For this month’s newsletter, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue is honored to spotlight Sallie Ross.

Sallie has worked for the City of South Lake Tahoe for nearly 17 years, proudly serving the citizens of South Lake Tahoe and members of South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue. Her position as the Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief has grown into so much more as the years have progressed. To say that Sallie plays a pivotal role in our organization would be an absolute understatement.

Sallie handles all the budgeting needs for the department, from forecasting to analyzing and preparing the budget each year along with the Fire Chief, to processing invoices and helping the firefighters keep their budgets on track. Sallie answers all questions from the public and prepares the reports for our EMS patients. In addition, Sallie serves as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the fire department, responding to high profile events when needed, and has been trained on how to prepare press releases and speak to the media.

Sallie goes above and beyond her job description on a regular basis, even coming in after hours to help the firefighters with whatever they need as well as coordinating special events such as COVID-19 vaccination clinics. She puts one hundred percent into our special events including award ceremonies, promotional exams, badge pinning’s, etc. Sallie has attended the National Fire Academy in Maryland and took a two-week course on Leadership in Fire and EMS Agencies and spent a week at the California Specialized Training Institute on PIO skills. Lastly, Sallie currently serves as the President of the Northern Division of the Administrative Fire Services Section of the California Fire Chiefs Association and has over 500 hours of training in the Administrative field. Without Sallie, your Fire Department would not be what it is today.

“I continue to be honored to serve the citizens of South Lake Tahoe by working at South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue. Every year I learn more about the fire service, and I can use my knowledge to assist the department in many ways. The firefighters are my 2nd family, and I consider it a privilege to come to work every day.” -Sallie Ross

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and South Lake Tahoe City Council hold Joint Special Meeting for 56-Acre Master Plan Project

The 56-acre Master Plan Project is a collaborative vision of the City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, and the California Tahoe Conservancy. The Master Plan will provide a comprehensive strategy for the project site, facilities, programs, and services which is responsive to the community’s demographics, social background, and multigenerational recreational needs.

At the meeting held on Tuesday, April 27th, the South Lake Tahoe City Council passed a motion supporting the City of South Lake Tahoe’s commencement of environmental review of the Draft 56-Acre Master Plan as presented.

In addition, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved both of the following matters, with adding the following language to the second matter (210690)- “to clarify that the scope will be limited to the relocation of all senior services provided by El Dorado County”.

  1. 21-0688

1) Receive and file a presentation from City of South Lake Tahoe staff on the 56 Acre Park Master Planning efforts which will include the preferred site plan as well as one alternative for consideration;

2) Provide conceptual approval to explore the construction of the Multi-Generation Center on the county-owned north side of the 56 Acres as depicted in both concepts presented by City of South Lake Tahoe staff and direct the Chief Administrative Officer to schedule a closed session with the Board of Supervisors on May 4, 2021, to discuss terms relative to the transfer of county-owned portions of the 56 Acres from the County to the City.

2. 21-0690

1) Health and Human Services Agency, in conjunction with the Commission on Aging, recommending the Board approve the relocation of all senior services currently provided in the Senior Center in South Lake Tahoe to the City's new building referred to as the Multi-Generational Center, and direct staff to have further discussions and negotiations with City staff regarding use of space, design layout, and other critical factors as identified to ensure the needs of the senior community are clearly defined and addressed.

Prior to the meeting, the Board of Supervisors were able to do a tour of the recreation center, senior center and the 56-acres by foot and by boat via the South Tahoe Fire Rescue Marine One vessel.

Left to Right: Supervisor Lori Parlin, Councilmember Cody Bass and Mayor Tamara Wallace
Left to Right: Chairman John Hidahl, Supervisor Wendy Thomas, Mayor Pro Tem Devin Middlebrook Deputy Chief Adminstrative Office Aaron Magezi and City Manager Joe Irvin

City establishes partnership with the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless for rehabilitation of hotel properties

On April 20th the City Council adopted an Operating Agreement with the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless (TCH), establishing the City and TCH roles in the partnership and commitment to continue operation, rehabilitation and maintenance of properties owned by TCH to reduce homelessness in South Lake Tahoe. The Operating Agreement acknowledges the three hotel properties acquired by TCH, utilizing state Homekey grant funds, to provide homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness: 2250 Lake Tahoe Blvd, (Bears Den) 2215 Lake Tahoe Blvd, (The Bird’s Nest) 1137 Emerald Bay Road, (Red Lodge).

TCH will provide housing and supportive services to clients to gain the skills needed to be stable, independent and productive members of the community. The City and TCH will work towards rehabilitation of the properties and the goal of converting the properties from interim housing to Permanent Supportive Housing. The City Council also authorized submittal of a Community Development Block Grant Program - CARES Act Round 2 and 3 grant application for $505,631 to begin rehabilitation of the Bears Den Inn property.

City Opposes Senate Bill 556 to Preserve Local Control Over Wireless Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

The City of South Lake Tahoe joined the League of California Cities and other local agencies in opposing California Senate Bill 556 (Dodd), which would require cities to make space available on street light, traffic signal, and utility poles for telecommunications providers without recognizing local authority to manage the public right-of-way. The Federal Communications Commission expressly enables cities to ensure that such installations meet appearance and design standards, maintain traffic safety, protect historical resources, and safeguard citizens’ quality of life. Consistent with that authority, and after six months of engagement with stakeholders, in May 2020, the City Council adopted regulations for small wireless communication facilities in the right-of-way. SB 556 could undermine this recently adopted policy by requiring the City to accommodate installation of these “small cell” facilities on City-owned poles irrespective of consistency with the City’s preferred locations and other City requirements to protect aesthetics and the public health and welfare.

On April 2, the City Manager sent a letter to Senators Ben Hueso and Brian Dahle on the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee to express these concerns and oppose the bill. The bill has since been amended to address some of the City’s concerns and is working its way through the legislative committee process.

VHR Enforcement Update

The Police Department is following up on expired VHR permits to ensure compliance.

VHR phase out data for March of 2021 is:

  • 41 VHR permits expired in March and were closed
  • 12 are now changed to long term rentals (>30 days)
  • 21 removed all ads
  • 2 were advised to remove ads that show no availability
  • 4 received $1,000 citations for unpermitted VHR ads
  • 2 sold
  • 17 additional VHR permits were closed due to the home being sold or other reasons

As of April 5, 2021 there are 800 VHR’s remaining in residential areas. Year to date monthly data on VHR phase out statistics can be found on the City of South Lake Tahoe’s web page under “City Services” and “Police Department”.For more information go here.

Did you Know?

The Public Work department utilizes an asset and work order management system called VUEWorks to help inventory and maintain all city assets (Street lights, signs, storm drain inlets, ect). One of functions of this system is a Citizen Service Request Portal that allows citizens to document an issue and submit it to the system where it can be routed to the group that would handle those types of requests.

Citizens can access this page from the front page of the city’s website. It’s a red button towards the bottom of the page with the text “Request Assistance” or by going here.

On the submission page, the citizen is required to enter their name, email, and phone number so staff can follow up. They choose a category from a drop down menu which contains categories like Street Maintenance, Snow Removal, Parks/Grounds, etc.

The citizen can also automatically pin the location they are at if on a phone with GPS or enter an address. The submission page works on a desktop as well as your mobile phone.

Spread the word-Take the Tahoe Pledge!

The Lake Tahoe-Truckee region encourages visitors to be aware of stewardship expectations, how to travel responsibly, and actively participate in efforts to minimize impact on the environment and local communities. A new traveler responsibility pledge developed by Go Tahoe North is being shared basin wide and it will educate visitors about taking care of the Sierra.

This pledge has been designed to encourage stewardship and offer specific actions that visitors can take to help protect Lake Tahoe, surrounding communities, wildlife and the environment. Composed of six tenets that align with primary sustainability initiatives of the region, the pledge outlines actions visitors and residents can do to immediately reduce their travel related impacts.

To learn more and to take the pledge go to gotahoenorth.com and tahoesouth.com.


On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law The American Rescue Plan Act 2021 (“ARPA”) that provides $350 billion in additional funding for state and local governments. The local portion of the funding is approximately $130 billion which will be divided between cities and counties. For smaller jurisdictions (pop. Under 50,000) funding is being allocated according to population share but not to exceed 75 percent of their most recent budget as of January 27, 2020. Payment to local government will be made in two tranches – first half 60 days after enactment, second half one year later.

Eligible uses of the funding include:

  • Revenue replacement for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent fiscal year prior to the emergency
  • COVID-19 expenditures or negative economic impacts of COVID-19, including assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries, and economic recovery
  • Investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

The bill contains two restrictions on eligible uses: funds cannot be used to directly or indirectly offset tax reductions or delay a tax/tax increase; funds cannot be deposited into any pension fund.

Funding must be spent by end of calendar year 2024.

The City of South Lake Tahoe wasn’t eligible for previous COVID-19 relief funding packages. For ARPA, the detailed guidance is still under development by the U.S. Treasury, however, according to the estimates released by the National League of Cities, the funding is estimated at $4.2 million in total for the City of South Lake Tahoe. This amount could be transformational for our city in our recovery efforts from the budgetary, economic, and financial impacts of the pandemic.

On May 11th, the City Council Finance Committee will meet to decide how to best use this additional funding consistent with the ARPA requirements, which are very broad. The Finance Committee will discuss the most prudent spending that will deliver the long-term value of investments and financial stability for our government using this on-time infusion of resources.

The finance recommendations will be presented to the City Council in June. Following City Council deliberation the results will be presented and the public will be invited to participate and prioritize selected projects via survey.

Digital Drama/Cyber Bulling Social Media Week

South Lake Tahoe Police Department held the first ever Cyberbullying Awareness week on social media. The on-line event took place from April 12th-16th. A few posts were sent out each day which were directed towards different people involved in cyber bullying instances along with tools on how to recognize bullying and what to do about it.

Topics ranged from what kinds of phrases and actions can be considered bullying, how to recognize someone that is a victim of cyber bullying, how not to be a bully and different ways that parents can be supportive.




On July 14th, 2020 the South Lake Tahoe City Council unanimously placed Measure S, the South Lake Tahoe Fire Protection, Emergency Response, City Services Measure, on the November 2020 ballot. 63.73% of the Voters in the 2020 election approved Measure S, allowing for the collection of a one-cent sales tax that will generate up to an estimated $5.9 million in local funding.

Following passage of the measure, collection of the tax – an additional one cent on each $1 of taxable purchase – began on April 1, 2021. The City expects to begin receiving revenue from the tax in June of 2021.

As part of our promise to voters, the City is implementing strict fiscal accountability for Measure S spending and just released a webpage dedicated to Measure S financial reporting on revenues, expenditures and projects currently underway. To learn more about Measure S Sales Tax revenue and spending, please visit www.cityofslt.us/MeasureS/fiscal.

Honoring THose who have died while serving their country

The City would like to recognize all who have lost their lives while serving in the military.


City offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st in observance of Memorial Day.


Photo Credits for background images (in sequential order) (1) Untitled-Jim Marino (2) Cave Rock Summer-Kim De Young (3) Untitled-Joe Irvin (4) Untitled-Kristen Quinn (5) PublicDomainPictures - "lake tahoe nevada shoreline" (6) Untitled-Joe Irvin (7) Untitled-Kristen Quinn (8) Untitled-Kristen Quinn (9) Hold it right there-Ray Boudewyn (10) Sierra desolation-Ray Boudewyn (11) Tahoe sunset with sailboat-Ray Boudewyn (12) Untitled-Jim Marino (13) Lake Tahoe Sunset-Kim De Young