Truckee votes yes on T
Fire prevention and mitigation measure passes
Truckee residents overwhelmingly voted for Measure T during Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election.
The measure, which will tax property owners $179 per parcel, per year for wildfire mitigation and prevention, passed with 79% approval from residents within the Truckee Fire Protection District.
The vote was 4,748 to 1,259. It needed to pass by two-thirds.
The vote tally is incomplete and unofficial.
“Clearly the Truckee and Donner Summit communities have shown their commitment to reducing wildfire risk in our area,” said Fire Chief Bill Seline. “They sent us a message loud and clear that they want us to get to work.”
The measure is projected to provide $3.7 million annually in locally controlled funding for wildfire protection, and will include independent audits, exemptions for low income residents, and citizen oversight.
“Our community has chosen to take action rather than wait for someone else to solve the problem and that’s notable,” said Seline. “There was a lot of discussion about should we wait for the state or federal government to take action … I think our community agreed.”
Seline credited fuel reduction work in and around Meyers for helping save the community from the Caldor Fire, adding that there’s a sense of urgency from the district to get work done, which is why the measure was placed on a special election ballot rather than waiting for the 2022 general election.
“You could sometimes justify that it’s not our backyard,” said Seline on past California wildfires. “But this year there’s not that option. It was in our backyard, and I don’t think anybody could argue that it couldn’t happen in Truckee.”
The district won’t see funds from the measure until 2023, due to the way property taxes are collected. In the meantime, Seline said the district will use reserve funds to launch a free green waste disposal program and hire defensible space inspectors. Once fully funded, the program will offer green waste pickup days, dead tree removal. The district will also contract with a forester and other companies to provide removal of fire fuels.
Seline said in the near future the district will roll out a full list of programs to be funded by Measure T, along with an operating budget.
“The community put their money where their mouth is on this one, and we’re not going to let them down,” said Seline.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643
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