Truckee Donner Senior Apartments still await flood repairs | SierraSun.com

Truckee Donner Senior Apartments still await flood repairs

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

Staff and residents from Truckee Donner Senior Apartments and Sierra Senior Services are facing the proverbial red tape that is preventing any repair work to begin on damages which occurred more than a month ago when a portion of the Senior Center flooded.

The doors to the Senior Center’s kitchen and dining hall remain locked, the facility in poor condition, as property owners wait for the go-ahead from their insurance company to help cover costs in order to repair the building. Frozen pipes burst on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 and caused extensive property damage, said Judy Sharp, Truckee Donner Senior Apartments and Truckee Pines site manager.

“I was hoping we could start a long time ago,” Sharp said of the number of necessary procedures which must be done before any repair work can commence.

The Senior Apartments property owners have received a handful of bids from construction contractors to complete the repair work, Sharp said. However, “we have to wait until we’re given the go-ahead because we don’t have those kinds of funds,” she said. Sharp said she could not disclose the bid estimates for the necessary repairs, only that they are “high costs” and are relying on insurance to help cover the expenses.

“We have a lot to deal with,” Sharp said.

Sharp said she has been working with the Town of Truckee in order to include all of the necessary building code updates in the repair work. Property owners have already spent more than $10,000 to replace damaged water pipes, she said.

Truckee Donner Public Utility District assisted with the maintenance of the damaged water pipes.

“The water mains are all painted red now,” Sharp said.

Aside from the damaged debris being hauled off-site, no repairs have been made to the building, she said.

Sierra Senior Services has also had to “make-do” with the current circumstances.

“We went from one site to three sites,” said Melanie Kauffman, executive director of Sierra Senior Services. “But we’re very grateful.”

The Meals on Wheels program continues to serve about 60 home-delivered meals a day, Kauffman said. Staff has been using the kitchen at Northstar’s Martis Valley Grille to prepare meals. About 20 apartment residents are taken by bus daily to be served their meals at a makeshift dining room at Tahoe Forest Hospital. Senior Services staff continues to work out of temporary office space donated by Blue Sky Homes, she said.

Kauffman said she’s pleased to report the Area 4 Agency on Aging approved the nonprofit’s request to serve home-delivered meals at the Senior Apartments.

“That meets a very important need for those who can’t make it to the hospital or get on the bus,” Kauffman said.

Senior Services is in the process of meeting with Tahoe Truckee Unified School District officials in order to arrange the use of Sierra Mountain Middle School’s kitchen, which “could be a perfect fit,” especially because the nonprofit’s use of Northstar’s kitchen will expire on April 15, Kauffman said.

It will likely be three to four months before the Senior Center will be up and running again, she said.

In the meantime, Senior Services is working to keep people informed and abreast of what’s going on, she said. The socialization within the Senior Center ” the music, movies, and meetings ” is sorely missed, she said.