Fire District Annexation Gains Ground

And: How the show that makes fun of all things Truckee came to be


In 2014, the North Tahoe and Meeks Bay fire protection districts entered into a mutual aid agreement for fire services management and related services. In 2018, an exploration of alternative government models between the two districts was floated at board meetings. The benefit of annexation is to streamline bureaucracy and decision-making (instead of two boards, there’d be one, plus full access to shared resources and funding). The annexation process has gone through numerous studies, with the largest hurdle being unfunded liabilities — namely the Public Employees’

Retirement System (PERS) pensions of retired Meeks Bay firefighters, currently about $2.5 million. Who will take on the additional payments when Meeks Bay is dissolved?

Last month, significant forward momentum was gained, though key questions remain, and future progress was tentatively mapped out. More on that below.


Also, with the Truckee Follies set to take place April 24 to 27, we turned to some of the movers and shakers of the event to take us down memory lane.

~ AH


What is the status of the Meeks Bay Fire annexation into the North Fire Protection District?

At the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors meeting on March 20 and the North Tahoe Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors meeting on March 26 both boards voted and approved the three motions below regarding the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District Annexation into North Tahoe Fire Protection District.

Motion one: Reaffirmed resolutions regarding the dissolution of the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District and the annexation of the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District into the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. Editor’s note: All Meeks Bay FPD motions passed unanimously; all NTFPD motions passed 4-0-1 (abstention, Director Loverde).

Motion two: Accepted the four terms below.

  1. One-time lump sum payment: equivalent of 3 years of [Transient Occupancy Tax, or] TOT funding for tourism-related calls at the Fiscal Year 2023/24 amount of $264,000 per year, plus an additional $200,000, for a total of $992,000. Editor’s note: The $992,000 will be absorbed by North Tahoe Fire upon approval of annexation. In addition, the taxes collected in El Dorado County will go to North Tahoe Fire to provide service for the Meeks Bay service area.
    • Represents payment for each fiscal year since the policy changed to include mitigation of tourism impacts in which Meeks Bay did not receive reimbursement for tourism-related calls (FYs 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23). The board approved adding $200,000 from the TOT designation for special projects.
  2. Tax increment: Bring all [tax rate areas, or] TRAs in Meeks Bay up to at least the average for all TRAs in North Tahoe.
    • Four TRAs increase to 10.91%.
    • Two TRAs stay at 13%.
    • New average for entire area becomes 11.61%.
  3. Meeks Bay special taxes and assessments will equalize assuming North Tahoe’s tax rates.
  4. Station 67 or a station that will meet standards of coverage for the Meeks Bay area will continue to be staffed and operated at current level of service.


Motion three: Approved the tentative established timeline to complete the annexation.

  • Letter to Placer LAFCO Commission, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, Placer County Board of Supervisors: April 1
  • Request to be placed on El Dorado County Board of Supervisors agenda for May 14 meeting
  • Request to be placed on Placer County Board of Supervisors agenda for May 21 meeting
  • Resolutions from both counties to Placer LAFCO for public hearing on July 10
  • Placer LAFCO protest hearing to be held Aug. 19 or 20
  • Placer LAFCO adopt resolution at Sept. 11 commission meeting. Record Certificate of Completion for an effective date of Oct. 1.

~ North Tahoe and Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts Fire Chief Steve Leighton email to Placer, El Dorado County Boards of Supervisors, Placer County Placer Local Agency Formation Commission

Specifics regarding PERS coverage for retired Meeks Bay firefighters, as well as board transitions between the two fire protection districts, are still being discussed by both North Tahoe and Meeks Bay.

~ AH


How did the Truckee Follies get started? Has there ever been any legal trouble? What’s a particularly memorable year?

Right around 1981 (?), Jenna (? Gina? Jana?) was the manager of the Truckee Hotel and had some theatrical experience and background. She suggested a variety show for the business community as a fundraiser. Larry Lewis was the president of the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association at the time. Bob and Mary Lou Herhusky wrote scripts and music, and produced the program, which right from the beginning was a great source of revenue. All done and created by volunteers. The show was always held in the “old” rec center [and] was originally a yearly show for the first maybe 6 years. Then [we] switched to every other year due to the amount of energy that is needed to put the show together. Things progressed; lights and sound got bigger and better. Music was originally canned, however, Tom Albright started playing piano. Next came real bands. Pam Krone painted the backdrop still used today sometime when the show premiered. Money raised by the show then and now is used for primarily the same purpose, to help beautify the downtown area by, in the beginning, helping to pay for the parking lot next to the fire station, keeping the streetlights on, supporting the children’s Christmas celebration, Santa, snow shoveling, sidewalk sweeping, clearing the back alleyway, and now pays for two $1,000 high school scholarships.

Historically, there have been some shouts to sue the follies over either ads in the program or how local characters have been portrayed. Once a sticker had to be placed on an ad the purchaser thought was too outrageous. This actually backfired: most people took the sticker off to see what was underneath making the ad the most popular in the program! It has been said there is one divorce and one unplanned pregnancy per show. There is no information to neither confirm nor deny this rumor.

~ Mitch Clarin, Truckee Follies producer

The Truckee Follies started long before I was on the scene.  Of course, my husband, Kane, and I had heard of the show but had never been. Twelve years ago, the Follies approached us about putting Kane in a leotard and tights for the now infamous men’s dance number, “Single Ladies.” Not truly knowing what we were getting ourselves into, we jumped at the chance to be a part of the fun. It’s been a wild ride each show year and we can’t imagine ever not being a part of this unique Follies family, and the show we all create to celebrate and raise money for our town.

Every year is a memorable one.  We continue to raise the bar and fundraise more dollars every year, we’ve created incredible lifelong friendships around our shared love for the Truckee community, and we laugh our asses off. It’s a triple win as far as I’m concerned. That being said, Base Camp for a High Life, the show’s theme for 2016, sure was a hit. Convincing the chief of police to take the stage was classic!

~ Aimee Schaller, Truckee Follies co-director


  • Alex Hoeft

    Alex Hoeft joined Moonshine staff in May 2019, happy to return to the world of journalism after a few years in community outreach. She has both her bachelor's and Master's in journalism, from Brigham Young University and University of Nevada, Reno, respectively. When she's not journalism-ing, she's wrangling her toddler or reading a book — or doing both at the same time.

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