Truckee Town council receives COVID-19 update
The Truckee Town Council held its second virtual meeting since the outbreak of COVID-19, addressing a number of items Tuesday afternoon during a nearly five-hour session.
Among the items discussed was a COVID-19 response update from the town’s Emergency Operations Center, which serves as the central hub of information for town government.
“COVID-19 is still not something to be messed with,” said Police Chief Robert Leftwich. “Hospitalizations are high. It’s a nasty infection that’s still spreading.”
Leftwich led off the town’s COVID-19 response update, and addressed several questions he’s frequently encountered from the community, including the possibility of locking down the town from visitors.
“We cannot legally lockdown the area and it’s not going to happen outside of very dramatic state orders,” said Leftwich. “Our population influx is not as dramatic as it might feel … there are some indicators to suggest we’re not feeling the influx the way that some people might sense that we are.”
Leftwich declined to give specifics on the police department’s methods for forming an educated guess as to how many people might be in Truckee, but added that the department uses similar methods for fire evacuation preparedness.
Other issues raised by the community have centered around the topic of short-term rentals. Town staff said they’ve had 35 properties reported for violating short-term rental rules, but found only one that was not in compliance. Truckee has roughly 1,750 short-term rentals. During this time all short-term rentals are restricted to critical functions.
The Town Council also received a budget impact update from Administrative Services Director Kim Szczurek, due to uncertainty related to revenue sources. Town staff plans to bring a short-term budget to the council in May, which will address the summer months rather than the long-term planning that is typically found in the budgeting process. Impacts would include moderating expenditures that aren’t necessary,foregoing big capital projects that don’t have complete outside funding, and finishing projects currently underway.
Truckee’s main revenue comes from property tax, sales tax, and transient occupancy tax. While revenue from property taxes for the year has already been determined, said Szczurek, sales tax and transient occupancy taxes have been immediately affected.
Town staff is proposing preparing an annual budget in August.
Lastly, the Town Council ratified the Truckee Coronavirus Response Act Leave Policy for town employees. Provisions include 80 hours of emergency leave for eligible town employees, and the broadening of Family Medical Leave, which allows for job protection and pay of up to $10,000.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643.
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