Trout Creek restoration project moved upstream | SierraSun.com

Trout Creek restoration project moved upstream

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Sierra Sun file photoTrout Creek floods Assumption Catholic Church in Truckee on Dec. 31, 2005. A restoration project is underway to prevent flooding in the area around the creek.

TRUCKEE and#8212; Town council decided last week to concentrate restoration efforts on Trout Creek upstream, and to wait to tackle the lower part of the creek until the Railyard development’s fate becomes more clear.

Trout Creek, which runs down through Tahoe Donner, along Jibboom Street, under Donner Pass Road and through the Railyard site into the Truckee River, has been redirected, constricted and manipulated throughout the history of the town.

Using Proposition Grant Funding, the town planned to repair some of that damage to prevent flooding and restore the waterway closer to its natural state, including removing the concrete flume it runs through from Bridge Street to Donner Pass Road, and moving the looped railroad track known as the and#8220;Balloon Track,and#8221; where it pinches the Creek below Glenshire Drive.

But with the movement of the Balloon Track tied to the Railyard Development, which is tied up in court, town staff wanted to move forward on the flume, said Dan Wilkins, director of public works and engineering.

and#8220;Our goal is to have a construction project for the summer of 2011,and#8221; Wilkins said. and#8220;Our goal is to remove at least part of the flume and replace it with a natural channel.and#8221;

The town has about $1.5 million in Proposition 50 grant funding for the project, still in the planning phase, he said.

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The town council also approved applying to amend the grant, allowing the town to purchase about an acre of property adjacent to the creek, which would aid in the restoration, Wilkins said.

That funding does not appear to be enough to remove the entire flume, Wilkins said, so the town will have to evaluate how much can be removed.

The channeled flume has caused flooding in the past at the Catholic Church building and adjacent parking lot.

Town manager Tony Lashbrook said the decision to amend the Trout Creek restoration project is unrelated to the Railyard lawsuit.

Shortly after the Railyard project, a residential and commercial development planned for the old lumber yard area east of downtown, was approved by town council last year, a group called the Friends of Truckee filed suit, challenging the project’s environmental documents.

One of the issues the group took issue with was the separation between the Railyard development and the Trout Creek restoration project.

and#8220;Our response was these are two projects, and this action reinforces that,and#8221; Lashbrook said. and#8220;We’re moving upstream because the balloon track move would have to before restoration could occur on that stretch.and#8221;

Judge C. Anders Holmer heard arguments April 2, and took the matter under advisement, giving him 90 days to render a decision.