Truckee Town Council expresses support for plastic water bottle ban

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Town of Truckee is pursuing a single-use plastic water bottle ban after receiving feedback from the Town Council during their Tuesday, May 23, meeting 

The council directed staff in 2019 to begin exploring ways to address litter and waste, a topic which is being looked at around the Tahoe Basin. In October 2022, the city of South Lake Tahoe passed a single-use plastic water bottle ban and in November 2022, the Town of Truckee passed a single-use foodware ban. 

Similar to the South Lake Tahoe ordinance, the Truckee ordinance would prohibit the sale and commercial distribution of water packaged in single-use plastic bottles or paper cartons less than one gallon in volume, except for in emergency situations and for social service and healthcare providers. 

The ordinance would also encourage the use of reusable bottles and placing refill stations around town. The council expressed interest in getting branded water bottles. Vice Mayor Dave Polivy warned against getting cheap reusable bottles but rather partnering with companies like Klean Kanteen which have similar values to the town. 

The council received 15 public comments in support of the ordinance. They also received opposition letters from the California Grocers Association and Bottled Water Association. However, the council did say they’d like to hear feedback from local grocers and food distributors. 

“I prepared a bit of a diatribe because I thought we would have some resistance and this is really fascinating because our community has some serious concerns about building heights but not as many concerns about whether or not we implement a bottle ban and that excites me,” Councilmember Anna Klovstad said. 

Staff will bring back a first draft in winter 2023/24 and hope to have the ordinance in place by summer 2025. Polivy said he’d like to see the process move faster. 

During the Tuesday meeting, Council also heard polling results regarding public interest in a new library and willingness to fund it. 

According to a presentation from Friends of the Truckee Library, the Truckee Library was built in 1975 when the town’s population was around 2,000. It has a capacity of 54 people but the town now has a population around 20,000. 

To build a newer, bigger library, the project would cost about $30 million. 

While the library is run by Nevada County, supporting a new library supports Town Council goals of providing quality of life infrastructure. 

The survey showed that about half of voters in the Greater Truckee Area consider improving the quality of local library facilities and services to be an important issue, however it did not rank as high as other issues in terms of where they thought tax dollars should go. 

The surveyors asked voters to consider a tax that would cover all $30 million, two-thirds or one-third of the cost. Based on the results, the most likely tax measure to pass would be one that supports $10 million of the project cost. 

The Council approved direction to staff to continue working with Friends of the Truckee Library on possible support towards the project. 

The meeting started with several proclamations including, a Truckee Day Proclamation, Truckee Day Hall of Fame Proclamation for the work Truckee Optimists provides on the celebration, Bike Month Proclamation and National Gun Violence Awareness Proclamation.

New staff were welcomed as well; Chalen Dewitt, Police Officer; Daniel Moss, Police Officer; Anne Dunne, Police Officer; Jason Litchie, Police Officer; and Katie McCartney, Code Compliance Officer. 

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