Town OKs budget; Capital improvement projects prominent in $14.5 million plan | SierraSun.com
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Town OKs budget; Capital improvement projects prominent in $14.5 million plan

DAN FOSCALINA

Truckee’s $14.5 million operating budget for 1997-98 sets aside almost half for capital improvement projects.

Town council unanimously approved the budget last week.

Town Manager Steve Wright said more than $6 million of the $14,564,000 budget are earmarked for new pavement on Truckee’s streets and construction of structures such as the new Glenshire Bridge and the western railroad undercrossing. The undercrossing is scheduled for construction this summer at the western end of Commercial Row near Interstate 80

“Major project work on both the Glenshire Bridge and downtown western undercrossing are planned this year,” Wright said. “Over $2.5 million are also anticipated to be expended this year on a variety of road maintenance and restoration projects.

“(Other) projects identified include further restoration as a result of the January floods and funding set aside for the possible initiation of a Downtown Parking Assessment District and the River Trail/Bikeway Project.”

New outlook

Characterized as transitionary, this fiscal year’s budget has also switched from planning for future goals to implementing projects and programs identified since incorporation by earlier councils.

“(This) year is a particularly significant year and this budget reflects the culmination of council policies which were established soon after incorporation,” Wright said. “This budget completes the policies established by the council in the early years – it fully funds all reserves including the General Fund Contingency, Snow Removal Contingency, Public Safety Liability and Self-insured Retention Reserves.”

Wright also said this is the last year Truckee, as a

recently incorporated entity, can use the three-times voter rule – a state subsidy that estimates the population base in areas without population data by multiplying the number of registered voters by three. Under this method, Truckee’s population base is 16,911.

Next year, however, the state’s department of finance estimates will be used in the budgeting process. Using these figures, Truckee’s population shrinks to 12,100 residents.

“Since the town has been annually setting aside funds into reserves, as well as incrementally repaying Nevada County for first year start-up costs, next year the town should not feel the impact of reduced revenues from (the three-times voter rule).”

Town councilmembers also took a conservative approach to governmental design structure, according to Wright, which allows the town to live within its means with no need to downsize in fiscal year 1998-99.

Personnel changes

The road maintenance and snow removal budgets have shifted from employing a large number of temporary employees during the winter and summer months to adding five permanent street maintenance positions, with no increase in costs.

“It is anticipated that the addition of these permanent employees will significantly improve the responsiveness of the Public Works Department to community needs,” Wright said.

In the town’s planning and engineering divisions, a half-time senior planner and associate engineer positions were created. In addition, this year’s budget also provides for a three percent cost-of-living adjustment for employees.

Town operations

Departmental budgets include a broad range of prioritized projects identified by the council earlier this year including:

— pursuing negotiations with Nevada County in order to correct the base year of property taxes designated for the town.

— funding to place the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation’s initiative and possibly the half-cent road tax on the November ballot.

— a townwide computer network.

— contracting for snow removal services in Glenshire, Olympic Heights and Prosser Lakeview.

— full budgeting for a redevelopment analysis in the Community Development Department. Also, completion of the town development code, completion of the habitat program management plan and downtown historic design standards.

— law enforcement budget includes the continued service level, assuming a five-year contract is executed.

— the animal control division operates at its continued level of service, and monies are set aside for an animal control shelter.

— a transit budget to include partnerships already in place with Placer County, Northstar, Sugar Bowl and the Truckee Trolley.

Revenues

This year’s budget revenues include $1,300,200 in carryforward funds; $6,492,000 in General Fund monies; $975,485 from the Community Development Department, which includes planning and building and safety fees; and another $5,796,190 in gas taxes and transit monies, as well as anticipated grant funds. Total estimated revenues for the fiscal year are $13,263,675.

Expenditures

Next to cash outlays for capital improvement projects, funding for law enforcement service is the largest town expenditure at $2.1 million. Public works costs for maintenance and snow removal run $1.01 million and $1.62 million, respectively.

Other payouts include animal control at $213,430; transit service at $279,265; engineering at $307,000; and reserve requirements zof $378,375.


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