Town/county lawsuit may finally be near settlement
Tonight Truckee Town Council will consider a settlement agreement that could end a lawsuit with Nevada County that has roots dating back to 1993.
“We are talking about language issues in regard to the settlement,” said Stephen L. Wright, the manager with the Town of Truckee.
The two-pronged lawsuit stems from a dispute over property tax revenue and the formation of the Town of Truckee’s Redevelopment Agency.
“The initial suit was over the town’s percentage of property taxes,” said S.R. Jones, the executive officer with the Local Agency Formation Commission, one of the two agencies initially named in the suit filed by the Town of Truckee in 1995.
Later, Nevada County sued the town in 1999 over the formation of the redevelopment agency.
That agency assists in the development of approximately 800 acres of the downtown core area, including a narrow corridor on Donner Pass Road and Planned Community 1.
The agency’s governing body can use the property tax revenue on a number of development issues, from affordable housing to infrastructure replacement.
About a year ago, the town was awarded approximately $30,000 in additional revenue from property taxes.
Wright said he listed settlement discussion on the Town Council agenda for tonight in a closed session, but after rereading the agreement, noted a condition that a joint press statement must be released if and when the agreement is approved.
“Overall, settlement negotiations with the county reached a very good conclusion,” said J. Dennis Crabb, the town’s attorney.
“Essentially it involved both pieces of litigation, property taxes and the housing redevelopment agency.”
Crabb added that he felt it is better that the town and county move forward with the agreement rather than get stuck over the negotiations for too long.
The county approved the agreement approximately two weeks ago, but the details won’t become public until all the parties named in the suit have approved it, said Crabb.
“Almost any litigation matter is costly by the nature of it,” said Charles McKee, Nevada County counsel.
“Whether this has been costly to the point of not being worth it, I doubt it.”
“I think both entities will come out ahead as far as an improved relationship.”
“I think that’s the ultimate goal for everybody,” said Wright, echoing McKee’s comments Tuesday. “Truckee residents are also county residents.”
The Local Agency Formation Commission is also expected to review the settlement agreement today.
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Police Chief Randall Billingsley was sworn in to start off Tuesday’s Truckee Town Council meeting.