TDPUD employees clean up Donner Lake |

TDPUD employees clean up Donner Lake

Pictured, from left, is the Truckee Donner Public Utility District Board of Directors: Director Joe Aguera, Director Tony Laliotis, President Jeff Bender, Vice-President Christa Finn, and Director Bob Ellis.
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On Wednesday, more than 60 employees from the Truckee Donner Public Utility District spread out along the shoreline of Donner Lake to pick up litter.

The public utility district, which had each of its five board of directors helping out as well, set up the day in order to give employees a break from the usual tasks of providing water and electric service in an effort to give back to the community while creating team bonding within the district.

“One of our employees, Regina (Cooley) wanted to do it. She brought it up through the chain, it got to my desk, and it makes sense,” said General Manager Rem Scherzinger. “Everybody is focused on delivering service and making sure that our crews are separated and making sure that we’re operating in different ways. We’re trying different things at the PUD to ensure that both water and power services are delivered. If you run at that level, at some point you have take your foot off the pedal. This is a really nice way to get the crews to meet other people … and it feels good to give back.”

Scherzinger took over as general manager in July, and this is the first time, according to several members of the board of directors, the public utility district has organized an event like a lake cleanup.

“This is a really nice way to get the crews to meet other people … and it feels good to give back.”— Rem ScherzingerGeneral Manager Truckee Donner Public Utility District

“It’s really exciting,” said Director Jeff Bender. “We’ve got a new general manager and we’re really on the right path.”

Team members said the most common item found along Donner’s shoreline was cigarette butts, mirroring nearly every other cleanup done during the past few years at Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe. Other items found included old cans, microplastics, and a used diaper.

The public utility district owns nearly 1,000 acre-feet of Donner Lake. The cleanup was also aided by the town, which provided bags and vests.

“It’s a great idea,” said Director Bob Ellis. “I imagine we’ll probably do this every year from now on.”

For more information on the Truckee Donner Public Utility District, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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