Town closes McIver Dairy sledding area |

Town closes McIver Dairy sledding area

Generations of Truckee children have sledded down the hill near the old McIver Dairy property and built snowmen in the meadow at the foot of the hill – but that’s going to change, at least for a while.

Workers from the Town of Truckee’s Public Works Department posted “No Sledding” signs on the property Wednesday morning. The property, which is located to the northwest of the Interstate 80 overpass near downtown, already had no-trespassing signs warning that sledding is dangerous, but the new signs are larger and posted near the road.

The town purchased the old McIver Dairy property in October, as part of a deal which included other easements needed for the downtown roundabout. For $275,000, the town acquired the property, including the traditional sledding area, the old dairy buildings and the pond. The town’s land extends up the hillside a short distance, but does not include the top of the hill, which is still owned by the McIver Trust.

Although people sledded for many years at the meadow when it was owned by the McIver Trust, the town is not willing to accept the liabilities that unorganized use of the property brings.

“Now that the town owns the property, we need to relieve ourselves of liability,” Public

Works Director Tom Covey said. “We’re going to wind up with an organized plan for it, but for now we can’t have unorganized sledding on the property.”

Covey said purchasing the property to create an official recreation area has always been a part of the town’s long-range plans.

“We really intend to make some kind of a recreation area out of this in the future that probably will include an ice-skating rink and everything, if people will bear with us until we get a plan,” Covey said. “Too many people are getting injured.”

Crowds of parents and children risk injury running across the busy road to access the meadow, and their vehicles are sometimes a traffic hazard lined up along the sides of the road.

“This is to protect the people of Truckee,” Covey said of the new signs. “At this time there is no ordinance in effect to prohibit sledding, but the signs will limit the town’s liability.”

Town employees also took steps to protect the old dairy buildings recently. Transients were living in the structures. Public work employees secured the buildings and requested extra patrols to ensure that the transients do not return.

Covey said the buildings, which were built about a century ago, could be incorporated into the plans for a recreation area at the meadow. He said the structures are in remarkably good shape for their age.

Town Manager Steve Wright was out of town for the holidays and unavailable for further comment on the town’s plans for the meadow.

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