4 November 2015
Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV) was created in 2013 as a non-profit corporation as a way for Olympic Valley to gain control of its own future. Olympic Valley, or Squaw Valley as it is widely known, is currently under the jurisdiction of Placer County.
“Incorporate Olympic Valley was formed in 2013 by Squaw Valley residents concerned about maintaining their mountain culture and gaining local authority and jurisdiction over land use decisions, locally generated tax revenues, and key services prioritized locally, such as snow removal, road maintenance, and parks & recreation.” -IOV
The bulk of the opposition to incorporation comes from a non-profit group called “Save Olympic Valley.” Save Olympic Valley has come under scrutiny for contributions it has received from Squaw Valley Ski Resort, which come to well over $120,000.
In 2014 the IOV paid $85,000 to have a fiscal analysis drawn up, in order to determine whether or not a new town would be financially solvent. The fiscal analysis initially showed that the town would not be able to support itself, though that stance came under fire shortly thereafter.
The IOV ended up having to pay $125,000 to have the state controller review the initial fiscal analysis. As reported by the IOV, the state controller’s office found 18 errors in the original analysis. In fact, according to the most recent review, an incorporated Olympic Valley would have positive net results and a general fund balance exceeding $15 million by the year 2025.
Below is a press release from the IOV:
For Immediate Release – November 3, 2015 – Olympic Valley, California
Last week, the California State Controller’s Office (SCO) released its review of the Draft Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (Draft CFA) for the proposed town of Olympic Valley. The SCO’s report confirms that the draft CFA contained many flaws, leading to incorrect conclusions, and formally reversed its erroneous assumptions and conclusions.
The SCO reviewed 31 separate issues with the draft CFA, reversing conclusions on 18 of them. Application of the SCO’s responses in a quantitative analysis by Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV) shows a dramatically changed financial picture for the town, with positive net results and growing general fund balances, exceeding $15 Million by 2025, even after yet-to-be-negotiated revenue neutrality payments to Placer County.
“IOV is excited and energized by the feedback and perspective from the State Controller’s Office, who validated the majority of concerns raised in our request to have the draft CFA reviewed”, said Fred Ilfeld, Chairman of the Incorporate OV Foundation. “The results clearly demonstrate that the proposed town of Olympic Valley is financially viable.”
The SCO’s review document can be viewed at: http://www.incorporateolympicvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/State-Controller-Review-Report.pdf
IOV has documented the impact of the SCO decisions in a letter to LAFCO’s Executive Officer. The letter and analysis for LAFCO can be viewed at: http://www.incorporateolympicvalley.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Lafco-Letter_SCO-Report_11-3-15.pdf
IOV welcomes the SCO mandated changes that clearly demonstrate financial viability. IOV analysis was developed in consultation with financial experts at Municipal Resource Group, whose 28 team members include former city managers of three newly incorporated cities, municipal planning directors, former police chiefs and other seasoned veterans on town municipal finance and administration.
“With the SCO’s reversals on key issues in the draft CFA, revised data and analysis reveals positive net revenue and growing general fund equity balances. The bottom line demonstrating financial viability is unequivocal.” said Tom Sinclair, Principal Consultant, Municipal Resource Group.
IOV looks forward to work by LAFCO staff and CFA contractor RSG to apply the SCO’s review to a comprehensive revision of the CFA, setting the stage for revenue neutrality negotiations based on the corrected financial analysis. “Opponents of incorporation saw what they wanted to see in the SCO review, not what the decisions and numbers clearly show.” said Fred Ilfeld.
With financial viability confirmed, attention now shifts to the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). “IOV has proven the new town’s financial viability. Now we need the whole community to step up with contributions to cover EIR and associated expenses which are expected to exceed $200,000. Having been forced to spend precious funds on the SCO review, it’s now essential that donors add their financial support to the cause.” said Ilfeld.
26 August 2015
One star Yelp reviews of our national parks changed my mind about KSL’s proposed Mountain Adventure Center.
by Treas Manning
My nephew Ryan, posted an article from The Onion. The article referred to one star Yelp reviews of our national parks. Ryan warned me, “this will either infuriate you or make you laugh out loud.” It did both.
In the end the one star reviews left me speechless. But then I started re-thinking KSL’s planned gargantuan Mountain Adventure Center. Maybe a ten story Walmart sized indoor water park and mountain-like play area is not a bad idea after all.
You see I kept thinking, I live at one of the most beautiful ski areas in the world, Squaw Valley. The entrance to Squaw Valley sits along the Truckee River and Lake Tahoe is just a short drive away and can actually be viewed from the top of the ski area. Shirley Canyon and Granite Chief Wilderness rim the ski area boundary. Squaw is surrounded by alpine lakes, waterfalls, bright green meadows filled with wildflowers and massive slabs of granite. Why do we need an indoor water park and mountain adventure playground?
The one star reviews of Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon really opened my eyes. I remember long ago on a warm summer day, a group of friends and I were playing among on the massive boulders on Lake Tahoe. Clowning around, I stumbled and scrapped up my knee. Thank goodness I didn’t tumble into the aqua blue water and get all wet, that would have been a disaster. It dawned on me, my little accident wouldn’t have happened at the Mountain Adventure Center. I would have been protected by guardrails and ranger like employees advising me to slow down and watch my step. It wouldn’t be possible to accidentally fall into the water as I would have to wait my turn with hundreds of others to climb the stairs to the top of the slide and purposely enter the water.
Not only that, but no worries of sunburn, and mosquitos. If I grow bored of the chlorinated cement rivers I could venture over to the indoor climbing wall or try my hand at the game arcade. I wouldn’t have to pack a bag lunch, I could have a burger served to me as I sunbathed under the florescent lights on a perfectly manicured artificial lawn for only twenty bucks or so.
Frankly this water park/mountain center idea might be a great one. In fact, we might want to consider building a few more around the lake. Emerald Bay might be a sweet spot. We could actually build a water slide straight from the parking lot that empties right out into the lake, or a zip line to Fannette Island. Let’s gut Volkingsholm and build a climbing wall, restaurant/bar, and movie theater. Why not turn one of the wings into a daycare center, it’s nice to get away from the kids on a family vacation.
Yep, I know I am going to make a lot of locals mad, but I have changed my mind. I am a newborn water park enthusiast. To hell with nature, what’s it done for us, no snow then too much snow. Wildflowers that grow like weeds, tree pollen, and damn it I have a family of grouse living right in my yard. I am over this natural beauty thing. I owe a big thanks to KSL for opening my eyes to the possibilities of a non-natural, safer experience.
Oh, but I do have one request, I’m going to need a little cable car built from my house to the Mountain Adventure Center, I hate walking down that hill.
20 August 2015
Are you headed to the lake today? A freshman computer science major won a competition at UC Davis for the best app proposal with his idea for the new smartphone app, “Citizen Science Tahoe”. The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center jumped on his proposal and launched the new app which may help scientists collect observational data from Lake Tahoe that can be shared in a database allowing scientists to have a better understanding of varying conditions in locations all around the lake.
If you would like to be a citizen scientist, you can download the app at www.citizensciencetahoe.org and start recording your observations. With the Citizen Science Application, the location of the observation, along with the date and time is recorded, and comments and photos can be added and send to the database providing more information on everything you may see at the beach. By submitting your observations more information can be collected to study the lake including information about the water quality, invasive species, algae, and the local wildlife.
Sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific Ocean have risen, hurricane activity in the Atlantic is down, record temperatures have been broken, and above average rainfall has spanned across Southern California. This weather behavior is leading scientists to believe that we may experience a moderate-to-strong El Niño this winter, perhaps being the stronger experienced, comparable to the one that hit us hard back in 1997-1998. The biggest indicators that El Niño may happen this year is the 2015 record breaking temperatures, making it one of the hottest years on record, and the rising sea surface temperatures which typically happens every 2-7 years.