Truckee Community Center hits hurdle
October 9, 2006
Plans to build a new community center in Truckee are moving along, but not without a few bumps in the road. The Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District board had anticipated that a large amount of funding for the three-phase project would come from 2007 bond measure if approved by voters.But Nevada County Clerk Kathleen Smith recently told the board that a special election in 2007 will likely be impossible because the county needs to update its disability access standards under the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Because of the changeover, an accurate and efficient election cannot be promised, and she cannot recommend to the Board of Supervisors that we hold a special election in 2007, Smith said.It was a glitch for which the recreation and park district board was not prepared.This is fairly bizarre, district General Manager Steve Randall said. I cant say that I have ever heard that they could do that.Randall noted that pushing a bond measure during a special election would likely be more successful for the district than during a general election because a general election brings more voters, but a special election brings educated voters.Upon hearing the news, district board members made it clear that they would not take it lying down. They said they would continue discussions with the Nevada County elections office to get a special election on the books, and would also continue brainstorming back-up plans.County Supervisor Ted Owens wasnt happy about the news either.I have never heard of anything like this, and I dont see any reason why [the district] should not proceed, Owens said. Next year is an off year (for elections) and I dont see why Nevada County Elections cannot accommodate them; they are there to uphold the democratic process. Period.The district is moving forward with the project as planned, said Randall.Phase one of the three-phase multi-use facility is set to break ground in the spring of 2007, and will be financed with $6.5 million from the districts general fund and an additional $6 million to $7 million in grants, loans and mitigation fees, according to the district. The 14-acre parcel on which the community center will be built was donated by East West Partners for a community-benefit project, as specified in East Wests Grays Crossing development agreement. The parcel was awarded to the TDRPD with Truckee town council approval, but the recreation district is under time constraints to construct the community center, or lose its entitlement to the parcel.