News Briefs

Architect Selected for New Truckee Library

TRUCKEE

Nevada County, the Town of Truckee, and Friends of the Truckee Library took another step forward toward building a new 20,000-square-foot Truckee Library facility at Truckee Regional Park. The three partners selected Jordan Knighton Architects (JKAE) for design services.

Board of Supervisors Chair Hardy Bullock points to the Joint Powers Authority and Memorandum of Understanding agreements established in January that have helped move the project forward.

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The current library was built in 1975 when the community had a population of 2,000 (the service area of the library is now approximately 20,000). Planning for a new Truckee Library facility has been included in Nevada County’s Capital Facilities Master Plan for over 10 years.

Each of the three partners committed $500,000 through a cost-sharing agreement for pre-development costs. The current design and engineering phase will occur over the next year.

The library is expected to cost up to $30 million, with construction planned to start by 2027. Advocacy efforts by the Friends of the Truckee Library have included community fundraising to help build the new library that will serve as a community center for creativity, collaboration, and connection. For details on the project, visit truckeefol.org.

~ Nevada County press release

Vanpools for Employees Commuting from Reno, Carson City

KINGS BEACH/TAHOE CITY

For employers in Kings Beach or Tahoe City, vanpools are available to employees commuting from Reno and Carson City. Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, Commute with Enterprise, and Mountaineer Transit have partnered to provide vanpool options in Eastern Placer County. This partnership supports Truckee/North Tahoe TMA’s commitment to innovative and sustainable shared mobility options for residents and employees who commute in or out of Eastern Placer County.

THE NORTH LAKE TAHOE WORKFORCE VANPOOL helps address regional transportation needs while helping preserve the local natural environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. Courtesy photo

TMA is looking to put together vanpools of employees working Monday to Friday shifts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The goal is to get a vanpool going by the beginning of May.

Interested employers should reach out to Sara at sara@tnttma.com.

~ North Tahoe Chamber enews

Workforce Housing Preservation Program Resumes

TAHOE CITY

Up to $150,000 is again available to eastern Placer workers looking to buy a home in the North Lake Tahoe region. On April 9, the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a relaunch of the Workforce Housing Preservation Program following updates to the program’s guidelines and loan documents.

WHPP helps local workers secure housing by providing 16% or up to $150,000 of the home’s listing price. In exchange, the home is deed restricted for 55 years so that only qualified local workers can occupy the residence. This financial assistance does not need to be paid back and the deed restriction restarts with each sale or transaction of the property.

The program, which has been on hold for 8 months, does not have income caps for applicants and can significantly reduce monthly payments for North Lake Tahoe employees. 

Homes considered for the program must be located in unincorporated Eastern Placer County. An eligible candidate must have at least one member of their household who is 18 years of age or older and employed with full-time status at a location within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District geographical boundary. Workers who work remotely within the TTUSD boundaries must also work for an employer whose principal place of business is within those boundaries.

Originally launched in 2021, the program has distributed $767,000 to North Lake Tahoe workers to fund the purchase of seven homes. Future funding for the program is expected to grow later this month as staff is scheduled to return to the board and present a funding contract to secure a $3 million investment from the TOT-TBID Dollars at Work program on April 23. 

Learn more and apply for the Workforce Housing Preservation Program at placer.ca.gov/7130/workforce-housing-preservation-program.

~ Placer County press release

Online Tool to Increase Public Understanding of Development Projects

PLACERVILLE

El Dorado County’s Planning and Building staff launched the Projects in Your Area online tool to make it easier to find the current status of and information about proposed, in-progress, and approved projects in the county. The new tool includes features and functionality community members and officials have requested.  

“We’ve heard our citizens’ frustration about the challenges to being able to easily find various pieces of planning information about projects in El Dorado County, and we’re delighted to launch this easy-to-use, interactive, and accessible tool today as a way to overcome the barriers to quick and easy information,” said Planning and Building Department Director Karen Garner.  

In conjunction with the county’s information technology and surveyor departments, Projects in Your Area allows users to find projects by clicking the interactive map that is bound by supervisorial districts or by clicking a list of residential, commercial, mixed use, campground/RV, and light industrial projects via alphabetical order, according to the type of project.  

Project details include a description, the type of application and when it was submitted, zoning and elevation, the applicant, the APN, assigned planner’s name, a status bar, pertinent documents and maps, and the designated General Plan Land use. One great advantage is to be able to see current projects in relation to each other on the map. The tool will evolve to include more valuable review process information over time, including a link to CEQA documents and public comment periods. 

“While not every project application will be included with this tool, we will include projects with wide public interest within weeks of an application submittal and will regularly update until the project has been approved,” Garner said. “Importantly, this new tool eliminates the need for the public to use our TRAKiT system, which can be  less intuitive.” 

Projects in Your Area will be available on the county’s website and users are not required to create an account to access the information posted. Learn more at engageeldorado.us.engagementhq.com/edc-projects-in-your-area 

~ El Dorado County press release

Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation Expands Grant Opportunities

INCLINE VILLAGE

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation expanded its charitable aid to nonprofit organizations. In 2023, the Community Foundation awarded $12.1 million in grants to nonprofits, the largest amount granted in a year to date. Last year also marked the addition of a new opportunity for donors to co-invest in its Community Impact Grants as well as a new grant program intended to meet more immediate nonprofit needs.

The Community Impact Grants allow nonprofit organizations to request the support they need to better serve the Tahoe region in its five focus areas: Environment, Education and Youth Development, Well-being, Arts and Culture, and Community Engagement. The community foundation’s Community Impact Committee, comprised of volunteer members from the community, review each grant proposal and award the most impactful opportunities.

“There are so many generous community members who are looking for ways to use their giving for good,” says Mackenzie Little, donor services director. “We have focused on connecting our donors to causes they care about and increasing the impact of grantmaking in our region.” 

In addition to these new donor opportunities, the community foundation added a new competitive grant program, Action Grants. These small grants are intended to pay for specific one-time expenses or materials for organizations/programs serving the Tahoe Basin.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and grants up to $2,500 are awarded quarterly by the Community Impact Committee. Learn more at parasol.org

~ Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation press release

Community Organizations Increase Access to Benefits

AUBURN

It will soon be easier to enroll in public benefits thanks to a new partnership with three community-based organizations: Human Services, the Latino Leadership Council, Sierra Community House, and 211 Placer. Assistance includes helping customers apply for Medi-Cal, CalFresh, and other key assistance programs. 

The partnership comes at a time of many changes to benefits systems. Earlier in 2024, Placer County transitioned to a new Medi-Cal-managed care plan, eligibility for Medi-Cal also expanded statewide this year, and pandemic-linked supports ended last year, leading to more questions from enrollees.

There are approximately 80,000 Placer residents who receive or are eligible for Medi-Cal, or around 20% of the population. This fiscal year, the county’s benefits call center has seen a 9% increase in customer calls so far, building on a prior year increase of 14%.

Through this collaboration, the organizations will conduct outreach, attend and host community events, and support residents in enrolling in or renewing their benefits. The organizations will work directly with their own clients, or members of the public can contact them directly:

Placer County community members can also continue to apply for or manage benefits online by visiting benefitscal.com, or connect with human services at placer.ca.gov/humanservices.

~ Placer County press release

Vacancy Tax Ballot Initiative Collecting Signatures

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

More than 2,000 community members in South Lake Tahoe have signed the petition for a tax on houses that sit vacant for the majority of the year. Proponents say they need another 350 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Proponents of the measure have reported seeing a high failure rate when validating these signatures against voter registration rolls, citing it as the reason they are continuing to gather more signatures.

“Many community members live outside official city limits, while others are not registered to vote at their current addresses, so we will be continuing to collect signatures and to help residents update their voter registration status until April 22,” said Nick Speal, co-founder of Locals for Affordable Housing, the nonprofit organization leading the ballot initiative.

Proponents of the initiative were informed by the City of South Lake Tahoe that they would have until April 22 to submit signatures for verification — good news to the team of more than 85 volunteers who have organized to help get the initiative on the November ballot.

2022 U.S. Census data indicates that 7,150 houses (44% of all housing units) in South Lake Tahoe sit vacant most of the year while local residents struggle to find housing. The number of vacant houses is up 56% since 2000, and has outpaced construction of new homes in the same time frame.

Those interested in signing the petition, learning more, or volunteering for the cause can do so at tahoevacancytax.com/get-involved

~ Locals for Affordable Housing press release

April is Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month

TRUCKEE

On March 26, the Town of Truckee proclaimed April as Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month, aligning with the state proclamation and Nevada County’s. The proclamation precedes Arts Advocacy Day on April 17. To mark the occasion, the Truckee Cultural District launched the Truckee Art in Full Bloom, Spring Into Art campaign kicking off a month-long celebration of arts and culture. 

The proclamation, signed by Mayor David Polivy and Town Clerk Kelly Carpenter, states: “Truckee is home to a thriving art and creative ecosystem comprised of talented artists, performers, makers, arts organizations, and events. In Nevada County, arts and culture are an essential sector of our economy, generating $66 million in economic activity during 2023. In 2017, through a rigorous application process, Truckee was designated one of 14 official California cultural districts.” 

Spring into Art will highlight over 20 events, showcasing Truckee’s literary, performing, historical, visual, and Earth Day-related programs and cultural assets. Partners of the Truckee Cultural District, including the Town of Truckee, Truckee Chamber, Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, Truckee Arts Alliance, and Nevada County Arts Council, will be promoting events connected to the campaign, along with Visit Truckee-Tahoe California. 

In addition to the array of cultural events, the Truckee Cultural District is introducing a mini-grants program for artists, organizations, and collaboratives. For more information about Spring into Art and a full list of events, visit nevadacountyarts.org/truckeespring

~ Town of Truckee press release

Local Author Releases Lake Tahoe Stewardship Book

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

Lake Tahoe is the focus of a new book for all ages by local author and illustrator Kristen Schwartz. With Love, From Tahoe, Stories About Simple Things We Can Do to Protect Lake Tahoe addresses Tahoe’s environmental challenges and offers practical solutions for preservation. Readers will discover why keeping their distance from wildlife is essential, how plastic impacts nature, how to help keep our water clean, and more.

WITH LOVE, from Tahoe is a new book from Kristen Schwartz that educates readers on the environmental impacts that affect Lake Tahoe. Courtesy graphic

Schwartz has over 35 years of experience as an illustrator and storyteller and has created narratives beyond the usual environmental warnings. The book is designed to be easy to understand, avoiding technical jargon and relying on relatable characters and short-form storytelling.

This project was sparked by a transformative moment for Schwartz, who found inspiration several years ago in the book Saving Us by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy. Dr. Hayhoe’s emphasis on starting locally and utilizing personal skills to discuss environmental issues resonated with Schwartz, who received a microgrant from the South Lake Tahoe Arts, Culture, and Tourism Commission to produce the book.

With Love, From Tahoe will be available for free download in English and Spanish on April 20 at kristenschwartz.com/withlovefromtahoe.

~ Schwartz press release

Dark Skies Photo Contest

TRUCKEE

The Town of Truckee announced the Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark photo contest as part of an initiative to encourage residents to limit light pollution and enjoy the natural beauty of the night sky. This coincides with the recently announced $50,000 rebate program for local residents and business owners who want to swap out their old exterior lighting for newer lights that are downward facing and energy efficient.

The contest will have three categories: professionals, amateurs, and youth (under 18 years of age). Prizes include a $500 Visit Truckee-Tahoe Sustainable Truckee Gift Card and an outdoor dark skies photography workshop over the summer. Photos must be taken in Nevada County and people can submit as many as they’d like. 

Participants can upload their photos through June 17 by visiting sierrasun.com/darkskiesphoto. There will be an opportunity for the community to vote on finalists.

For more information, visit townoftruckee.gov/darkskies.

~ Town of Truckee press release

NTCA Board Votes to Invest $4.3 Million

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

The North Tahoe Community Alliance Board of Directors voted to invest a total of $4.3 million in TOT-TBID Dollars At Work funding through the 2024 Annual Grant Cycle into 13 projects that benefit the North Lake Tahoe community. Four of the projects, recommended for TOT funding specifically, will now go before the Placer County Board of Supervisors for approval.

“We have recommended the investment of $4.3 million in TOT-TBID Dollars At Work funding that will unlock matching funds of over $6.3 million, bringing the total investment in North Lake Tahoe to over $10 million,” said Tony Karwowski, NTCA president and CEO.

TBID funding, generated through local hotel and short-term rental stays, purchases at activity providers, restaurants, and retail/rental outlets, was awarded to nine projects totaling $1,638,669. The projects, recommended for direct TBID investment include:

  • Deep Dive Pilot Cleanup Project and Litter Education Awareness Program (Clean Up the Lake)
  • Tahoe Cross Country Lodge Project – Construction (Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association)
  • Revitalize the Watson Cabin (North Lake Tahoe Historical Society)
  • Don’t Drop the Top (Shane McConkey Foundation)
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit Accelerator Pilot Program (Tahoe Housing Hub)
  • Accessibility for All at North Tahoe Beach (California Tahoe Conservancy)
  • Tahoe Backyard Micro Business Incubator (Tahoe Backyard)
  • The Mural Project (Arts for the Schools)
  • SNOW Sports Museum Expansion and Refurbishment (SNOW Sports Museum Foundation)

In total, four projects totaling $2,680,000 in TOT funds generated by overnight stays in local hotels or short-term rentals were recommended to the NTCA Board of Directors by the Capital Projects Advisory Committee (CAP) and the TOT Committee. The NTCA Board voted to recommend the TOT funding expenditures to the Placer County Board of Supervisors for approval. Projects include:

  • Martis Valley Trail (Northstar Community Services District)
  • Tahoe Cross Country Lodge Project – Construction (Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association)
  • North Tahoe Recreation Access Plan Project, USFS 06/Thelin (Placer County Department of Public Works, Tahoe Engineering Division)
  • North Tahoe Mountain Biking Trails/FS 73 Bypass (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association)

Learn more about the projects that have been funded and how the TOT-TBID Dollars At Work program works at northtahoecommunityalliance.com.

~ NTCA press release

Community Event at KidZone Museum

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Community Connection Event at the KidZone Museum on Tuesday, April 22. This free event offers guests a unique opportunity to connect with the museum, explore its creative vision, and get a sneak peek at exciting future plans.

Attendees can explore Hundred Acre Wood, the museum’s current immersive exhibit. The experience, crafted by local artisans, builders, and volunteers, features a mural by artist Suzie Alexander, inspired by the classic Winnie-the-Pooh stories and reported on by Moonshine Ink in March. This will be the last imaginary play exhibit at the current location before the museum relocates to a larger facility at Truckee River Regional Park by the end of 2026.

Children are welcome to join their parents and participate in art and play activities guided by the museum’s teenage play facilitators. This will allow parents to explore the behind-the-scenes elements that bring the museum to life for over 30,000 annual visitors.

RSVPs are encouraged. Visit truckee.com for more information and to register.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes New Physician Assistant, New Nurse Practitioner

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

Tahoe Forest Health System announced that Abigail Haskell, PA-C, has joined its primary care team at the Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics in Truckee.

Ms. Haskell received a bachelor of arts in biological sciences from Goucher College and a master of clinical medical science and physician assistant studies from Barry University. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The office of Ms. Haskell is located at 10978 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee. She is accepting new primary care patients. For appointments, call (530) 582-6205.

The health system also announced that Kristyn McDougall, MSN, FNP-C, has joined the pulmonary and sleep medicine team at the Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics in Truckee.

McDougall received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno, Orvis School of Nursing. She is certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

The office of Ms. McDougall is located on the first floor of the Medical Office Building at 10956 Donner Pass Rd, Suite 130, Truckee. She is accepting new pulmonary and sleep medicine patients. For appointments, call (530) 582-6205.

~ Tahoe Forest Health System press release

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