Sanitation agency eyeing river trail concerns |

Sanitation agency eyeing river trail concerns

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra SunThe Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency wastewater plant with the Truckee River in the foreground.

The plan to build a Truckee River trail that will connect Donner Lake with Glenshire is hitting a few bumps, but supporters are confident they can smooth them out.

The Truckee River Legacy Trail, which already connects Regional Park to Riverview Sports Park, is expected to extend out to Glenshire before the section to Donner Lake is built. To get to Glenshire, the trail may have to cross Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency (TTSA) property near the wastewater treatment plant.

But the thought of trail users passing so close to the plant has the sanitation agency discussing security concerns at their board meetings, said TTSA General Manager Craig Woods.

“Obviously when you bring the public so close to the (facility) you have concerns about safety,” said Woods. “Anytime that you invite the public to go by a site you have curious people who say, ‘what is in those tanks?'”

Woods said the agency is looking into fencing or other alternatives that would “keep the curious away” and still let the trail pass across the agency’s land.

Woods said TTSA, which donated an easement for a previous portion of the legacy trail, is a backer of the trail, but wants to make sure its operations are not effected by the route’s alignment. A decision on the agency’s position on the trail will probably take months to formulate, said Woods.

“(TTSA) has been supportive of the trail system and is trying to cooperate,” said Woods. “We just want to make sure the agency is not harmed.”

Andy Otto, the president of the Our Truckee River Legacy Foundation ” formed almost eight years ago to see through the construction of the Truckee River trail” said TTSA has been cooperative, and their concerns are justified. He expects the issues with TTSA will not delay the trail’s extension.

“We all have those concerns,” Otto said, adding that the trail’s proposed route near the plant is not set in stone.

“We haven’t set any (trail) alignments at all,” he said, referring to the next phases of the trail that will bring it to Glenshire.

The Truckee River has been at the center of industry in town throughout history. While this makes for a perfect place for a trail, it also complicates construction as archeological work must be done to protect these resources.

Many agencies and jurisdictions are working on the completion of the trail including the Truckee Rotary Club, Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, the Town of Truckee, the Truckee Trails Foundation and the Truckee River Watershed Council.

Together these agencies are working on preserving the historic features, TTSA’s concerns and the right to build the trail on U.S. Forest Service land farther down the river, that most be worked out to complete the trail.

“We’re all trying to work as a community to get this going,” said Otto. “We are trying to make this a marvelous experience for everyone.”

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