City council discusses COVID-19 and approves loan for affordable housing project

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — As El Dorado County slips back into the purple tier, the South Lake Tahoe City Council once again discussed the pandemic.

At the meeting on Tuesday, November 17, the board received an update on COVID-19 which reflected many other discussions since the start of the pandemic. As the city is better prepared than before and prepares for more personal protective equipment grants, it faces the same problem as before; being on the status line.

Despite California’s pushback, Nevada has yet to tighten restrictions, leaving the city in dire straits. Gov. Gavin Newsom has suggested a curfew, and it would be very difficult for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department to enforce if there wasn’t a similar curfew in Nevada.

City Manager Joe Irvin and Councilwoman Brooke Laine, along with representatives from El Dorado County reached out to the other four basin counties about a coordinated response in the spring. At that time, the counties were not interested in working together. However, Irvin and council member Cody Bass will again reach out and hope for a more positive response.

Although the update did not contain any actionable items, the council voted unanimously earlier in the meeting to postpone or cancel the city’s events until February.

Also during the meeting, the board authorized staff to apply for two grants from the California Department of Parks and Recreation for the new swimming and recreation center. The two grants, if both were accepted, would give the city more than $8 million for the project.

The council also approved a $1.25 million loan for the Sugar Pine Village affordable housing project.

According to Hilary Roverud, director of development services, this loan will be repaid fairly quickly to the city.

Finally, the board received a presentation on the South Lake Tahoe Tourism Improvement District 2019-20 Report. While the fiscal start was normal, SLTTID had to shift gears to respond to COVID with campaigns urging visitors to love Tahoe from afar.

This was the last meeting for Mayor Jason Collin and Laine. There will be a special meeting on November 30 to recognize their service and certify the election results. Then, the new members will be sworn in on December 1 and the mayor and mayor pro tem will be chosen.

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