Truckee Flood Disaster funds authorized
Truckee Town Councilmembers extended the 1997 Flood Disaster Declaration and increased the authorized flood repair money from the town’s contingency reserves by $50,000 at the Feb. 6 regular meeting.
Truckee Mayor Bob Drake said town work crews have been placing boulders along the bank of washed out West River Street. He said Town Engineer Jon Lander requested more reserve money to get the main traffic artery open and passable.
“Lander reported until the water level drops in the summer, he won’t know how deep the river cut into the bank under the road,” Drake said. “It appears to be holding and the town is going to widen the road back and replace the guardrails.”
Lander said the contingency reserve money was requested to increase cash flows, enabling Truckee to begin paying contractors and start construction. He added the town money would be repaid with the help of Caltrans and Federal Highway Administration restoration project funding.
“We did get approval from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration for a restoration project,” Lander said. “We expect to return that (contingency) money; when we have a signed agreement with the state and the feds it will be like an accounts receivable.”
The program, which is administered by Caltrans through the FHA, covers 100 percent of work necessary to reopen West River Street. It provides only 88 percent coverage for long-term repair work, however.
Lander said California’s current flood relief authorization funding limit is $100 million and with total claims estimated at more than $400 million, there is some uncertainty if Truckee can be reimbursed for the entire cost for West River Street’s damage – about $650,000.
“The decision to proceed with the rip-rap (boulder) material on West River Street was made first to halt the continuing erosion of the roadway bank and, secondly, because immediate work would appear to qualify for the 100 percent reimbursement,” Lander said.
In addition to the Caltrans/FHA restoration project funds three other flood relief funding options were identified by Lander.
He said the Federal Emergency Management Administration will provide assistance for public facilities damage. An inspection team visited Truckee and completed a damage overview; snow cover, however, is hindering the filing process for certain road claims, Lander said.
In addition, FEMA is funding up to 75 percent of qualifying repair and the state legislature is in the process of determining what percentage of the balance it can fund, Lander said.
Other funding mechanisms include the Natural Resource Conservation Service, which offers private property owners suffering stream damage the opportunity for relief funding, and Golden Sierra Job Training, which provides funding for unemployed workers to be assigned to the public works employee base, Lander said.
Councilmembers voted unanimously in extending the Disaster Relief Declaration and increasing contingency reserves used for flood damage repair to $250,000.
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