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A tour of town hall

Talk of the Town, Heidi Scoble, associate planner for Truckee, and Robie Wilson Litchfield, planning commissioner

Welcome to Truckee Town Hall. Located here at 10183 Airport Road, you will find everything from animal control to pollution control, business licenses to dog licenses, building codes to bingo and smoking codes. The departments that manage these and many more aspects of our daily lives are all accessible right here. All except the jail.

When you arrive you may park on any of the four sides of the building, but we suggest the visitor spaces in front for today’s visit. As you approach the main entrance to town hall you will see a walk that leads diagonally to the right – that goes to the administrative section but ignore that for right now and just go straight through the main doors. On your left you will find the Town of Truckee Police Department where you may file reports, request reports, file restraining orders, get your fingerprints done, and pay parking tickets; however, if you need to bail a friend out of jail, you will need to go to the sheriff’s station located on the corner of Donner Pass Road and Lavone Avenue.

On your right is the Community Development Department, which is run by Tony Lashbrook, the community development director. Here you will find the Building Division, Planning Division and Animal Control. How do you know which division you need to visit? Well, Animal Control is pretty straightforward. What if you want to have an abandoned car removed? Believe it or not – Animal Control. Go figure!

The Planning Division, led by Town Planner Duane Hall, is responsible for processing and permitting land use entitlements, such as easement abandonments, zoning changes, and land subdivisions. Depending on what type of land use permit you need, you will likely to go through some form of review process. We will get into this division in much more detail in future columns.

If you want to build, remodel or construct an addition to you house, or move into a new commercial space, you would go to the Building Division, managed by Chief Building Official Bill Miller. You will need to talk to the public service technician to determine if a building permit is necessary. There you will find out what information will be required in order to review the building permit application, and how long the building permit process should take, which is generally about four weeks on average.

The beautiful thing is that all three entities share the same front desk and the ladies there can answer a lot of your questions, requests and problems. If not, they will get the right people from the back offices to help you. There is always a planner and a building inspector on call to help as well.

Now, let’s go back out to that diagonal path we noticed earlier. Through the doors at the end of this path and through the next set of double doors is the Administrative Division. Here you will find the Engineering/Public Works Department, the Administrative Services Department, the town clerk, the assistant to the town manager and the town manager.

If you want to talk to someone about snow removal, the maintenance of public streets, whether a street is publicly maintained, or secure a permit to connect a new driveway to the public street, the Engineering/Public Works Department, led by Town Engineer Dan Wilkins, is the department to contact.

The Administrative Services Department, managed by David Heath, is in charge of handling all town personnel and money matters, including the 5-year Capitol Improvement Plan. And in case a rock gets kicked up and crashes through your window during snow removal operations, this is the department where you file a claim.

If you are interested in learning what is on the agendas for upcoming town council and planning commission meetings, call or visit Judy Price, our town clerk. She is responsible for managing all town related public records.

Moving down the hall, you can find Assistant to the Town Manager Alex Terrazas. He is responsible for managing all town facilities, including the Bus Depot and Town Corporation Yard, the Truckee Trolley contract, and the solid waster franchise agreement. He also acts as the public information officer (PIO), providing liaison duties between emergency personnel and the media. For example, during the propane leak last spring, you could see Alex or read his quotes in the local news giving updates on the status of the cleanup operation.

And last, but not least, we come to Town Manager Steve Wright, who manages all town business. The town manager is like the CEO of a private corporation.

Town hall is sometimes perceived to be an intimidating place. Believe it or not, all town departments are approachable; you just need to come down to town hall or call either the Administrative Department at 582-7700 or the Community Development Department at 582-7820 and ask away. You may have a question that concerns multiple departments, but the employees of the town strive to provide the best customer service possible in addressing your question.

The town’s mission is to create the best possible future for our community by providing the highest level of public service and to ensure that all departments are working together to provide the best information and service to the public. Town hall is a public place for the community to voice its opinions, and the residents of Truckee should feel comfortable with accessing the resources and information available.

For more information on town hall, come in or go to the town’s Web site at http://www.townoftruckee.com. You can access information on the different town departments as well as obtain current information on town hall functions, such as town council and planning commission meeting agendas and minutes, a phone directory of employees, as well as up-and-coming public events like the General Plan workshops.

Heidi Scoble is Associate Planner for Truckee, and Robie Wilson Litchfield sits on the Truckee Planning Commission. They can be reached at hscoble@townoftruckee.com.


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