Budget for citizen committee rejected | SierraSun.com

Budget for citizen committee rejected

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

The chairman of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s citizen’s conservation committee went before the district’s directors last week to ask for funds to pay for studies into energy and water conservation.

“Sticker shock” was a phrase batted around more than once by board members and some ratepayers who were present at Wednesday’s meeting. After looking at the proposed annual budget of $224,000, Juanita Schneider of Truckee wondered why the committee needed any money at all.

“I thought this was an all-volunteer committee,” she said during public comment.

In presenting the request, committee Chairman Doug Grandy explained the committee needed someone to take minutes and consultants needed to help explain complex conservation issues. Grandy also requested money for materials such as flip charts and pens.

The board of directors voted unanimously to assign staff to help the committee refine its budget, and promised to try to acquire the materials needed to facilitate the committee meetings.

The conservation committee was formed in the maelstrom that ensued after last year’s debate over the district’s proposed adoption of a 50-year coal-energy contract. With an intense public outcry, the board formed the committee to pursue cleaner forms of energy production.