Are we getting our fair share? | SierraSun.com

Are we getting our fair share?

Stephen L. Wright, Truckee Town Manager

The Town of Truckee is now almost 10 years old (March 23, 2003). One of the objectives that started with the original Town Council has been to maximize local taxpayer dollars by seeking outside grants from others to improve the town.

We have had a fair amount of success in not only attracting money, but more importantly making improvements to the Truckee community. On occasion, notations in the press are made about a given project that contains grant funding, but much more has occurred to Truckee’s benefit that may not have looked so significant until viewed as a whole.

Here is a sampling of our grant seeking accomplishments:

– Over $3.75 million received for the replacement of the Glenshire Bridge

– $300,000 to replace every old Nevada County street name sign in town

– $35,000 to conduct housing needs analysis

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– $1-plus million in bridge construction by the UP railroad at McIver Crossing

– $35,000 to conduct a riverfront revitalization study

– $15,000 from the Truckee Donner PUD for energy retrofits at Town Hall

– $1 million HOME grant to aide the construction of the Sierra Village Apartments (72 units/56 affordable)

– $300,000 UP railroad grant to improve air quality – over 340 dirty wood stoves have been removed so far due to these funds

– $60,000 USA Media franchise grant to improve facilities at the high school Channel 6 studios

– $60,000 Truckee Fire District contribution to share costs for an Emergency Operations Center emergency generator

– $11,000 in contributions from agencies and businesses for railroad merger proceedings

– $1.585 million in FEMA funds for recovery from the ’97 floods

– $250,000 for purchase of the original two Truckee trolleys

– $125,000 for the TART bus (to Tahoe City)

– $150,000 for purchase of three dial-a-ride busses

– Donation of personal water craft (anytime power sports) for Donner Lake patrol, and police bicycles (back country; and $500 each from the hospital and Lahontan Community Assn.) for downtown patrol

– $400,000 state grant for drainage improvements under 267 at Trout Creek

– $525,000 for the Trout Creek Restoration Project

– $114,000 state 205j grant for Truckee River water quality analysis study

– $35,000 housing study funds related to seasonal housing and available lands analysis

– $300,000 federal TEA grant for Truckee River Trail planning and improvements

– $1.5 million for three different affordable housing and rehabilitation grants

– $36,000 grant for the construction for bus shelters and related improvements

– $45,000 boating and waterways grant for a Donner Lake patrol boat and equipment

– $268,000 for used oil-recycling activities

– $117,600 for a Glenshire Drive guardrail improvement

– $17,000 for transit marketing funding

– $1.377 million in several road improvement grants

– $250,000 for Palisades/Brockway Road signal

– $47,000 for recycling and household hazardous waste programs

– $140,000 for police technology improvements

– $309,000 COPS grants used for start up costs and equipment for the PD

– $44,000 Office of Traffic Safety grant – equipment to enhance traffic safety

– $43,000 for Golden Sierra Jobs programs

– $350,000 Mill Site planning grant (just awarded)

Would Truckee have received these monies without incorporation? Probably not – at least not to this extent. Is Truckee better off because we did receive them? Absolutely, yes

There are better roads, improved air quality, improved drainage, new affordable housing, more recycling, better transit services, an improved police presence, etc., etc. Some may say that we shouldn’t pursue grants, and others could say that we should have done better.

When looking at this list, all I can say is that the town has been looking out for its residents’ best interests and finding and using money that comes from sources other than local tax dollars. Some of these funds may actually be tax dollars that you have paid to some other level of government and the town is just working to get back your “fair share.”

Hopefully we are doing our part in accomplishing just that goal. It’s been a good 10 years.

Stephen Wright is Truckee’s town manager.