Looking into Truckee’s future: Old Mill site, highway re-alignment on planning agenda | SierraSun.com

Looking into Truckee’s future: Old Mill site, highway re-alignment on planning agenda

Christina Nelson

Looking into the future, the Truckee town council and staff examined funding sources for capital improvement projects that will be entering the council’s radar in the next couple of years.

Significant projects identified by the council include the relocation of the town’s corporation yard, generating a master plan for the Old Mill site, the Interstate 80/Highway 89 South roundabout and implementation of the Downtown Road Re-Alignment and Streetscape plan.

Nothing in the plan is set in stone, instead it only projects what may be spent down the road on capital improvements, said Town Manager Steve Wright.

“It’s only a planning tool,” he said.

Some public works improvements – like increasing the traffic capacity of Donner Pass Road at the Highway 89 South junction – may be pushed off and funded in later years depending on the amount of time available to town staff, said Dan Wilkins, public works director.

Officials are still looking for funding on the Mousehole project, which could widen the current tunnel under Union Pacific Railroad’s tracks.

In its recommendations on the expenditure plan, the Planning Commission stated that it is “concerned about the level of expenditure associated with the design of the facility particularly with no funding mechanism established for construction.”

For this fiscal year, $620,000 was set aside from impact fees and regional transportation improvement program funds to fund an engineering analysis and environmental document for the project.

The plan does not identify future funding for the project, which could cost up to $9 million.

“We have the preliminary designs (for the Mousehole project),” said councilman Josh Susman. “There is some seed groundwork that has been done.”

The town estimates that it will spend approximately $10 million on the Pioneer Trail/Bridge Street extension, which will link Tahoe Donner to downtown.

Although the expenditures for the Tahoe Donner connection appear on the plan for the next couple of years, Susman argued that it’s unrealistic to go on the record as showing that it will be complete in the next couple of years.

More than half of the money needed for the Tahoe Donner connection project has yet to be identified by the town.

Finding a site for a new town corporation yard is slated for the fiscal year 2003/2004. The total projected cost over five years for the relocation of the yard is approximately $10.8 million.

Mayor Ted Owens suggested that the town shift funds from site selection for a new town hall to the relocation of the corp yard.

“One is kind of a nice thing to do; the other we’re committed to,” he said, explaining that the corp yard relocation is more urgent because it involves Truckee residents.

The expenditure plan also includes the replacement of town vehicles, additional staff in the coming years and redevelopment.

To view a copy of the Capital Improvement Plan, call the Town of Truckee at 582-7700.