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Town Council voices support for sanitation upgrade funds; Affordable housing also on agenda

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

Town Council has supported a request that may help secure water for the entire North Shore Community.

In their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, Nov. 2, Town Council authorized sending a letter to the California Department of Water Resources which supports Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency’s request for state funding.

The funding would help pay for plans that will allow the Tahoe Truckee Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility to upgrade filtration capabilities and meet proposed discharge regulations in the Truckee River Operating Agreement.

The Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency is requesting all government entities affected by the wastewater treatment facility support state funding.

If the agency is not able to upgrade to complete biological nitrogen filtration, water from Boca, Prosser, Stampede, Tahoe or Donner Lake may be used to dilute the emissions which are discharged into the Truckee River.

Without the implementation of the new filtration system, the sanitation agency feels the wastewater treatment plant will not be able to meet proposed discharge regulations.

According to a letter from the Sanitation Agency to the town, Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency data shows the wastewater treatment facility would be able to accomplish partial biological nitrogen removal with plans for expansion that cost approximately $3.4 million.

However, expansion plans that would accommodate full biological nitrogen removal, and thus meet proposed regulations in the Truckee River Operation Agreement, would cost an additional $11.6 million.

Without state assistance, ratepayers who use the service of the treatment facility will have to pay for the upgrade.

“Tahoe Truckee Sanitaion Agency’s proposed project meets California water quality standards, but Nevada interests are saying that it may not meet Nevada water quality standards,” said Craig Woods, general manager for the sanitation agency. “If there is a problem between the two states, then the two states should regulate that.”

Prosser, Boca and Stampede reservoirs, as well as Tahoe and Donner Lake, all supply drinking water to Nevada via the Truckee River.

Woods said the sanitation agency’s impact on the water quality in Nevada is very small, so slight it’s almost immeasurable.

“We see reluctance from Nevada interests to allow California to use water allocations provided to us through the Truckee River Operating Agreement,” Woods said.

“The letter was to show how important this is,” council member Josh Susman said. “This water agreement will affect everybody.”

Housing study approved

While it’s known Truckee has a housing shortage for low-income residents, Town Council acknowledged Truckee may have housing problems for other economic groups, too.

Town Council approved a grant request for a housing needs study which could lead to information on how Truckee can solve housing problems that have not been addressed before.

“We all have a sense that the middle class has been hugely ignored in this process,” said Truckee Mayor Maia Schneider. “It may the piece we’re missing.”

The grant would provide funding for a housing expert to conduct a study addressing the following:

— Current and future housing needs by income category.

— Analysis of private market potential for development of new housing to meet identified needs within each category.

— An inventory of potential government and non-profit funding sources for housing development.

— Recommend strategies to address identified housing needs.

The study would cost more than $40,000. The grant would require the town provide $5,600 from the general fund to match the grant money.

Rehabilitation grants

Dilapidated homes in the Town of Truckee may have a chance to get a facelift.

Town Council approved the submission of a grant application which would provide $500,000 for the rehabilitation of low-income housing.

“The new grant is more useful,” Schneider said. “It encompasses all of the town. Previously the grant only applied to a very limited geographic area.”

Schneider said the grant used to apply to areas such as Gateway or behind the PUD. “We feel we may have been missing a huge pocket, say at Donner Lake – houses that need improving but weren’t included.”

The grant would provide an estimate of 15 housing units with approximately $31,000 each. The money would be provided to qualifying households in the form of a 3 percent simple interest loan with payment deferred for 15 years or until the sale of the unit.

For more information call Town Hall at 582-7700.


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