April 4, 2006
We read the letter to the editor (“Say no to snob appeal”) in the March 24 Sierra Sun. The letter writer wrote what many of us in Tahoe Donner have felt for some time. There are strong reasons not to go forward with the undergrounding of utilities. We attended the Jan. 27 meeting where the consultants made their presentation to the board, residents, advocates and Realtors.
Outstanding issues remain: 1) Unplanned increases in the costs of energy and materials will probably wreck the initial budget projections. 2) Costly hard-rock trenching, which dogged Southwest Gas, has not been adequately forecast. 3) Real estate sales (and home values) during the 10 years will be affected negatively, and 4) Why change? Remaining life expectancy on the current overhead system is 30 years and it is much easier to replace and repair.
Long Island Power (LIPA.com) did a comprehensive 50-page study of nine state jurisdictions when assessing feasibility of undergrounding. They determined that it could not be justified on the basis of reliability or economic benefits, that it was cost prohibitive and that there were many substantial additional costs including expensive maintenance of duct bank systems. They concluded underground systems are also susceptible to flooding, corrosion, objects falling on surface-mounted equipment and lightning. Repair time for underground systems is 60 percent longer than overhead lines.
Then there are the attorneys. Manhattan Beach’s project is currently on hold while it is tied up in court pending resolution of lawsuits filed by residents in opposition. It is unlikely TD owners will sue en-mass if the project is approved and it is equally unlikely the advocates will do likewise if it isn’t. But somebody undoubtedly will file.
One final thought: Many of us have provided input to the survey of projects TD plans for the expansion of amenities. I will guarantee you the money and support for these improvements will evaporate should the undergrounding go forward. It’s our choice.
Jeff and Cindy Haigh
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Many of you who know me advised me to respond to (“Moving roads next?” Sierra Sun March 31). To remain silent somehow lends credence to the writer. Hashing it out in the paper on the other hand, is what the he wants. Here in the paper, the writer is free of any accountability.
The problem with this issue is foundational. The writer stakes out a position based on his beliefs, which differ from the findings made by the county. I’d be pleased to schedule a status report before the board so that we may all begin a productive and factual dialogue.
I can assure you of one thing, the writer’s letter indicates great passion for his position. Even if the claims made are misguided and contain little substance.
These issues will be fairly and carefully examined before the board of supervisors in a public meeting where all interested parties can equally participate. There, the board will consider facts, and if the writer attends, he will have the opportunity to argue his point of view.
Supervisor, District 5
Why is the town taking out the movies, not one of the hair salons or something, because now we have to go to Reno or Kings beach to watch movies. That is not fair to the teens/kids/everyone in Truckee. I think that was one of the best places in Truckee. Now the town is just changing more and more every day. Soon we probably wont be able to go anywhere with our friends.
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