Truckee planning commissioners put hold on service center approval | SierraSun.com

Truckee planning commissioners put hold on service center approval

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

The Truckee Planning Commission put plans for phase III construction of Truckee's new public service center on hold this week, citing a need for an additional study of greenhouse gas emissions that the new building would emit.

Before recommending the project to the council, the commission requested a California Environmental Quality Act exemption be presented.

"This is a very small project I realize," said Commissioner Jan Zabriskie, who said he'd like to see the project move forward but wants to make sure that it meets all environmental regulations. "What can we do to make it bulletproof?"

According to Dan Wilkins, Truckee public works director, the new facility will still be heated with natural gas. However, it will be bigger and may produce more greenhouse gas emissions.

"Based on my knowledge of operation of the existing buildings, these would be close to matching," he said. "It would be a rough equivalent in terms of total electrical equivalent."

Wilkins said the use of photovoltaic solar panels at the facility would offset the emissions. Currently there is no limit of greenhouse gas emissions that a building can emit set by the town.

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Phase III would include the construction of a 17,521-square-foot building for police, evidence and large vehicle storage and a 18,736-square-foot facilities maintenance workshop with transit offices and vehicle storage.

Wilkins said the indoor storage would be used for heavy equipment such as snow plows and will reduce the amount of idling time the diesel equipment needs to heat up before operating.

"It allows us to get out there more quickly," he said, saying it also allows them to completely vacate the existing facility.

"We think that getting fully consolidated at a single location helps the town out from a service provision standpoint," said Wilkins. "It makes that property available for other potentially beneficial community uses."

Phase I was initially approved in 2008 and included the development of the town's corporation yard, fueling facility and dormitories for emergency response teams. In 2010, Phase II brought the construction of the joint Town and Tahoe-Truckee Humane Society animal shelter.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at hjones@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2652.