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:

On Tuesday, August 17, City Council approved the following ARPA Projects. Funds for these projects have been approved and must be allocated by 2024 and expensed by 2026.  

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.

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

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.

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.

Infrastructure Improvements-New Fire Hydrant Installations

Associated Strategic Goal 4.2 and 5.1; Cost of Project $300,000

Funding would be directed to water infrastructure improvements within the City, specifically, for the installation of 37 new fire hydrants in the City. South Lake Tahoe Public Utility District will partner with the City to install the hydrants by using City ARPA funds for materials only – about $8,000 per hydrant – and the District will provide everything else, including installation labor and equipment. The work will begin immediately and be completed within two years. This project aligns with the City’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, specifically addressing the threat of wildfire, minimizing the impact of the built environment regarding wildfire threats, resources to reduce wildfire risk, and public safety, wildfire preparedness.