Town officials discuss top issues for Year 2000
In its seventh year of existence, the Town of Truckee will move into the new century facing a host of familiar issues, Mayor Maia Schneider said.
“Planned Community 2, in sort of an ongoing way, is certainly one of the biggest,” Schneider said. “Land use in general will continue to be an issue. We have quite a number of projects in the wings that will be interesting.”
Hearings before the California Public Utilities Commission will also take the town’s negotiations with Southwest Gas into at least January.
“We thought Southwest Gas would be done in the current century, but it looks like that one is moving on as well – at least until the hearing on Jan. 6,” Schneider said.
The 2000 Census is also on the top of the town’s priority list, and a committee will begin meeting soon to discuss how to get the word out to all area residents, she said.
The town is continuing its negotiations with Bank of the West, and is still eying the bank’s building on Airport Road as a potential interim town hall, Schneider said. Negotiations over the possibility continued Monday in a closed council meeting.
She said that the town also hopes to resolve its long-running litigation with Nevada County.
Town Manager Steve Wright said work is ongoing on all of those projects, and that getting information out about the census is a top priority.
“The census is really important to both primary and secondary homeowners,” Wright said. “They need to understand how important it is for them to participate. For the next 10 years, counts from the census will be reflected back in state and federal monies to us.”
He said that some second homeowners, who may reside in Truckee for three or four days each week, could declare Truckee as their permanent residence, which would increase the amount of state and federal funds earmarked for the town.
“We will work with the homeowners’ associations to advise secondary homeowners,” Wright said.
Another important part of the census in Truckee will be outreach to the Hispanic community.
“Maia Schneider and Don McCormack are trying to coordinate the Latino community,” Wright said. Our ability to count those providing services in the community as permanent residents allows us to get state and federal funds back to them. Census information is completely confidential.”
He said the town will be reaching out to the Hispanic community through the churches and that the Census Bureau has bilingual census-takers available to assist as well.
The town’s Complete Count Committee will spread the word, informing residents how important it is that each and very person be counted, Wright said.
Nevada County litigation
The town’s long-standing litigation with Nevada County over property tax will go to court in Sacramento on March 10, Wright said.
“Regardless of what happens in court in March, whichever side loses is likely to appeal,” he said. “What I have seen of most other incorporation litigation is that after the court rules and an appeal is filed is when settlement negotiations are undertaken. About 99 percent of the cases are resolved through a settlement before an appeal is heard.”
Nevada County filed a separate suit this year against the town, claiming that the town’s redevelopment district was too large, and would unfairly draw county tax dollars away from profitable businesses.
Wright said that suit’s fate will likely depend on the outcome of the town’s property tax suit against the county.
“Practically speaking, if we were able to resolve the primary litigation over property tax, we could resolve the redevelopment issue at the same time,” Wright said.
He said politics in the county could also change over the next few months.
“To some extent the county will be in a state of flux over the next six months or so,” Wright said. “They are interviewing for a new chief administrative officer and three supervisors are up for re-election, which could change he makeup of the board.
Wright said the town will hold a public hearing on potential sites for a new town hall at 6 p.m. on Jan. 6 in the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District boardroom.
“We’ll go over the various options and alternatives with this (the Bank of the West) building, any other existing building or buildings available and any longer term opportunities for acquiring vacant land and building a town hall,” Wright said. “We will lay as many of the various alternatives as we can determine on the table and discuss and explore the issue with the public before we make any final decision on an interim facility.”
Planned Community 2
Consultants are currently completing a final draft of the economic impact analysis for Planned Community 2 and the Environmental Impact Review is underway.
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