Town reviews train depot, 267 Bypass; Caltrans representative to attend council meeting
Don’t like Nevada County’s idea to close the Truckee Intermodal Station? Or Caltrans’ Highway 267 Bypass design plan? Area residents can comment on both issues during tonight’s regular Truckee Town Council meeting.
On Aug. 26, Nevada County Supervisors approved extending tenant leases at the Truckee depot through Jan. 16 to negotiate a lease agreement with Truckee. The county, citing a lack of funds, wants Truckee to lease the county-owned facility for $1 a year and to pay for its upkeep.
Since 1988, the county has managed the depot at a net loss of $12,568. Last year, the depot brought in revenues of $25,236, while expenses totaled $29,691, for a $4,444 loss.
Based on the depot’s negative cash flows, supervisors voted 4-1 Aug. 5 to shut down the intermodal station and issued eviction notices to the four tenants – Amtrak, Greyhound, Truckee Associated Travel and the town – by October. Fifth District Supervisor Sam Dardick, who represents Truckee, was the dissenting vote.
Town Manager Steve Wright said Truckee received a draft lease agreement from the county Aug. 29, which included a provision stating the county’s general fund will absorb no cost in the lease.
Town Attorney J. Dennis Crabb and town staff are reviewing the agreement and plan to have additional information to the council.
“If information can be generated to provide the council with a comfort level that is adequate, then action to authorize (me) to execute the agreement would be appropriate,” Wright said, adding the issue could be continued until the Sept. 18 meeting.
Should the council decide to lease the depot, Wright said it was likely a budget amendment to provide for depot operation would be necessary tonight.
Caltrans’ 267 Bypass Project Manager Heidi Sykes will update councilmembers on another heated issue around town – the closing of the on and off ramps at the Interstate 80-Highway 267 junction.
Town Engineer Jon Lander met with Caltrans representatives July 14 when two project modifications were brought to light: construction has been condensed to one phase and closure of the on and off ramps is in question.
Since that time, town officials, residents and business owners have opposed the ramps being closed and have implored Caltrans move the bypass alignment closer to the California Highway Patrol scales near Airport Flats.
Should the current design move forward – it is funded for construction in 1999 – eastbound travelers stopping in downtown Truckee would have to cross I-80 to the north, continue to a new intersection at Highway 89 and turn south, cross I-80 again and make a left turn to an eastbound I-80 on ramp.
Caltrans officials, however, said in order to access the downtown area, travelers are only required to go about a half mile out of their way. Also, reworking the bypass route could delay construction as long as eight years.
The issue has garnered several letters of opposition from business owners and elected officials alike, including Truckee-Donner Chamber of Commerce Executive Manager Rachelle Pellissier, 3rd District Assemblyman Bernie Richter and Tom Watson of Truckee River Associates Inc.
Councilmembers will not act on the issues tonight, rather Sykes will host a presentation on the issue with a question and answer period to follow.
Finally, councilmembers will consider awarding the bid for the Glenshire-Devonshire street repair project to Advanced Asphalt in the amount of $190,556.
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