New home for Truckee snow plows, lost pets in the works |

New home for Truckee snow plows, lost pets in the works

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunSqueeker hangs looks out from a dog run at the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe Monday.

Truckee’s heavy equipment and orphaned animals are one step closer to moving to a new home.

The town’s planning commission approved project plans last week for a new corporation yard and animal shelter located off Donner Pass Road between Glenshire Road and Interstate 80. The new 75-acre site will replace the existing location in the Martis Valley, and will also house the U.S. Forest Service and Truckee Fire Protection District.

“We hope to break ground this summer,” said Dan Wilkins, director of public works for the town.

The first phase of work would include outdoor storage for the town’s heavy equipment fleet like snowplows, a maintenance shop, sand barn, and fuel storage, taking two to three years to complete Wilkins said.

“It will be developed as a phased project given the fact the economy is soft and our level of comfort with debt is lower,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins said he expects the first phase to cost about $15 million, which will require some borrowing.

That first phase will move the majority of operations out of the Martis Valley and away from the communities affected by the noise, he said.

Next up will be a new animal shelter shared between the town’s animal control and the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, which Wilkins said will be paid for by both the town and the humane society.

“The animal shelter is really tied to the timing of the humane society’s fundraising efforts,” Wilkins said.

Stephanie Hiemstra, executive director of the humane society, said the group already has $700,000 donated by Ruth Frishman, and will start fundraising for the rest once design estimates come in.

“We’re hoping to break ground in the spring or summer of 2010,” Hiemstra said. “This is a very, very exciting time for us.”

Hiemstra said the humane society was lucky to receive the $700,000 in light of the current economic downturn, but understands that the same conditions could make more fundraising difficult.

“We are aware that it’s not necessarily the best time due to the economy but we’re also aware that it’s pretty urgent we get out of the current shelter,” Hiemstra said. “We know the community believes this is a priority.”

Wilkins said covered storage for the town’s equipment fleet will come in five to 10 years.

Work is already well underway in the area, as the U.S. Forest Service builds a new fire station and a new ranger station on the site.

The Truckee Fire Protection District will also add a fire station to the property as town growth necessitates the expansion, according to fire officials in a previous interview.

The new sidewalks filling in gaps between the western end of downtown Truckee and Spring Street are expected to be nearly complete by the end of the day today, said Public Works Director Dan Wilkins.

Some painting will remain, he said, but the majority of the work slowing traffic on Donner Pass Road will be done, he said.

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