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How Much Snow Your Roof Can Handle; Wage Stagnation; and Why the CHP Building is So Large

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I know most of our roofs are designed to handle snow, but how much?

The recent storm systems have dropped a substantial amount of snow in the Greater Tahoe Area, including the Town of Truckee. Many residents have contacted the Building Division asking how much snow their roof or deck can handle before they need to shovel. Here are rules of thumb to calculate the anticipated snow depth for a roof — if you find the snow on your roof exceeds that depth, find a way to safely clear it:

• Go to townoftruckee.com, follow the Government tab to the Building and Safety page, then click on the Snow Load Design link on the left of the page. This will lead you to a map with the ground snow load for your parcel.

• Multiply the ground snow load by 0.7 to obtain the approximate roof snow load.

• Divide the roof snow load by 25 pounds per cubic foot of snow density to obtain the anticipated snow depth.

Example:

The ground snow load for the Moonshine Ink office is 169 pounds per square foot.

The approximate roof snow load = 0.7 x 169 = 118 pounds per square foot.

The anticipated snow depth for the roof = 118 / 25 = 4.7 feet.

Here are the warning signs that there may be too much snow on a roof or deck:

• Doors or windows have become difficult to open

• Cracking in drywall

• Beam deflection (sagging)

• Walls or posts out of plumb

• Displaced deck beams or joists at connections (commonly due to dry rot)

~ Town of Truckee Building Department


Wages seem to be stagnating in Truckee/Tahoe and across the country. Pew Research Center reported last year that U.S. wages are “essentially back at 1974 levels.” What is the cause of this and how is it impacting our local workforce?

It is notable that U.S. wages have been backpedaled to the era in which their course was set. It was the early 1970s when a collection of free market tax and investment policies was adopted that failed to encourage, let alone require, that increases in a company’s productivity and profit be shared equitably with workers.

At the same time, workers’ power to organize in an effort to require more equitable distribution of wealth was curtailed. These factors have combined to create ever-greater income inequality.

Locally, this is driving labor shortages, a housing crisis, and increased greenhouse gas emissions as more and more workers excluded from the region by housing prices drive into the community for employment.

To get back to a more equitable system that serves the triple bottom line — improving our community, the environment, and generating profit at the same time — we need deep and fundamental tax reform. We also need a local economic development strategy focused on rebuilding the next generation of middle-class jobs, promoting entrepreneurship and ownership, and diversifying our economy well-beyond snow. Without such action, we can anticipate income inequality to continue to grow. The economy should serve the nation and the community; the nation should not solely serve the economy.

~ Steve Frisch, president, Sierra Business Council

Our different offices publish information at the state and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level — an urban area of 50,000 people or more — although we do not have wage information for the Truckee/Tahoe region level in particular. While we are happy to share data relating to earnings and employment, we do not further interpret this data as far as causes of wage stagnation and its effect on a region. Info: bls.gov/ces/, (202) 691-6559, sminfo@bls.gov

~ Jide Adebowale, economist, Bureau of Labor Statistics

~ Editor’s note: Pew Research Center declined to comment beyond referring to the contents of the above quoted article, which can be found at pewresearch.org under the headline: For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades. A Pew employee stated that the article “refers to several possible reasons, but doesn’t surmise any of them are the reason” for wage stagnation.

The new California Highway Patrol building being built on Donner Pass Road at the Pioneer roundabout seems massive. Why is the project so large and when is the completion date?

That’s a great question and really the answer is twofold. First and foremost, new CHP buildings are being constructed for an estimated 50 years of use. A lot of time was invested looking into the area we work in here in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe to see what our population was and what our potential growth was. With that being said, the forecast is for our staff to grow over the next 50 years and this facility gives us the ability to expand.

Secondly, there are many things that are required in any newly constructed state facilities that were not required in 1967 when the last building was built, such as a lactation room and a training room for officer safety training/fitness. Also, our job has substantially changed over the last 50 years. We handle much more general crime these days, which leads to the need of bigger evidence rooms, training rooms, etc.

Estimated opening date was late April, but obviously the weather has affected that, so we figure sometime in the summer.

~ Pete Mann, CHP public information officer, Truckee

 
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March 14, 2019