Water Supply Uncertainties Cause Halt on Development Approvals
Nevada’s state engineer recently issued Interim Order 1307 to help address a pressing water management issue in the Cold Spring Hydrographic Basin, located just north of Reno. Groundwater in the basin is the only water source for thousands of homes located throughout Cold Spring Valley. Over the years, NDWR has received and considered multiple applications seeking to appropriate groundwater in the valley, and has consistently denied the applications because existing commitments exceed the available water supply. Over the last decade, however, the Cold Spring community has continued to grow and use an increasing volume of existing groundwater in the basin, putting further strain on an already limited water supply.
With the issuance of Interim Order 1307, NDWR has placed a temporary hold on the review and approval of new subdivision maps and other proposals that would require additional water supply in Cold Spring Valley.
Live-Updating Map Answers Question: Where’s My Plow?
INCLINE VILLAGE, CRYSTAL BAY
Washoe County Roads staff announced a new snowplow monitoring system that will provide the public with a near real-time interactive map to see where the high-elevation snowplow fleet is currently operating. Each plow has been equipped with an Automated Vehicle Locator system, allowing Washoe County Roads to more efficiently deploy the fleet during winter storms, as well as provide this online tool for the community to see which areas have recently been plowed.
The Where’s My Plow? interactive map is now live for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay areas, with other higher elevation parts of the county possibly coming online in the future.
New Bridge, SR-89 Realignment Complete
Project Delivery Team representatives for the State Route 89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project celebrated the opening of the SR-89 realignment in mid-December, which includes the new Truckee River Bridge located in Tahoe City. The project incorporates safety improvements for all modes of transportation and includes a new quarter-mile-long segment of SR-89 with a new 153-foot bridge crossing over the Truckee River. Roundabouts were constructed on the south end of the realignment next to the Tahoe City Transit Center and on the north end near the Caltrans Maintenance Station, allowing an additional entry/exit route for Lake Tahoe’s West Shore. The improvements are part of an effort to reach project goals identified in the Tahoe City Community Plans.
No Charges Filed in Alleged Inappropriate Behavior Investigation
Peter Mayfield, executive director of the Mountain Gateway Center, issued a statement that the investigation from the District Attorney of Nevada County regarding an individual accused of inappropriate behavior with minors was concluded with no charges filed against the individual or Gateway Mountain Center.
“While we are relieved,” the statement reads in part, “it would be disingenuous to say that we haven’t been shaken by this incident. We never want any child under our purview or care to feel uncomfortable as the result of any of our staff’s actions.”
$1 Million for Forest Health, Wildfire Projects
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
The California Tahoe Conservancy Board authorized spending $1,036,750 to implement three high-priority projects to reduce fire risk and improve forest health in South Lake Tahoe and on the West Shore. These include forest thinning, hand thinning, and understory burning. Funding for the projects comes from a 2016 Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act Round 16 Hazardous Fuels and Wildfire Prevention grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Protections for Customers Impacted By Natural Disasters
Liberty Utilities has established an Emergency Disaster Relief Program to provide protections to customers who experience loss or disruption or degradation of quality electric service as a direct result of a wildfire or other natural disaster. In the event that a state of emergency is declared at the state or federal level, Liberty Utilities will:
- Waive deposit requirements for residents seeking to re-establish service for one year and expedite move-in and move-out service requests
- Stop estimated energy usage for billing attributed to the time period when the home/unit was unoccupied as a result of the wildfires
- Create payment plan options
- Suspend disconnection for nonpayment and associated fees, waiver of deposit, and late fee requirements
- Provide support for low-income residential customers
Lawsuit Challenges Resort Parking Fees
Long-time Crystal Bay locals Ron Code and Steven Kroll have filed a lawsuit with the US District of Nevada court against Vail resorts over the new daily parking fees associated with parking in the Village Lots at Northstar, fees that have caused other public commentary. Kroll and Code, aged 79 and 77 respectively, argue that their passes implied free access to parking and that they weren’t informed of the change to an additional daily fee. “…Defendant VAIL did not inform the Plaintiffs of its new plans, and Plaintiffs proceeded in good faith to pay their money and purchase the 2019-2020 Senior Value Pass, rightfully expecting it to duplicate their years of previous renewals,” the lawsuit reads in part.
Washoe Legislation Restricts Vaping in Public
As of Jan. 1, the use of vaping products or e-cigarettes is no longer allowed at any place where smoking is not permitted in Washoe County, thanks to laws passed during the 2019 Nevada legislative session. The law was modernized to protect children and adults from secondhand aerosol from electronic vaping products in most public places and indoor places of employment.
Mountain Housing Council Releases Accessory Dwelling Unit White Paper
In an effort to increase local understanding of housing solutions and offer ideas on how to create more housing in the Truckee/North Tahoe region, the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee conducted a study on Accessory Dwelling Units. The recently issued ADU White Paper highlights the council’s research and how ADUs can be another tool to increase housing inventory.
The Mountain Housing Council produced the ADU White Paper in order to increase understanding of ADUs and how they create housing opportunities for those who live and work in the region. It offers ideas on ways to increase the number of ADUs being built and outlines ways to offer incentives to homeowners who want to rent an ADU to a long-term tenant. Also highlighted in the study are the numerous ADU laws recently passed by the state of California that are aimed at decreasing barriers to ADU creation.
Mark Twain-Inspired Film Highlights Tahoe
A new short time-lapse film of Lake Tahoe, with a narrative inspired by the thoughts of American writer, satirist, publisher, and lecturer Mark Twain, has been released by local Reno/Tahoe filmmaker Justin Majeczky in partnership with the nonprofit Tahoe Fund. Created to showcase the awe-inspiring majesty of Lake Tahoe, once called the “fairest picture the whole world affords” by Twain, the film is also intended to generate awareness of the Tahoe Fund and the environmental projects it supports around the lake. Video content for Twain was captured over the course of five years from a variety of vantage points, and throughout all seasons by Majeczky and other local filmmakers.
County Program Encourages Reading in 2020
The Nevada County Community Library and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools invites everyone to take part in Nevada County Reads and Writes 2020, a project designed to deepen engagement in literature through reading and discussion. This annual event was created in 2005, wherein the entire community is encouraged to simultaneously read a featured book and participate in subject-related school and community events. The project’s current highlighted book as of press time was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Announces Merger
The nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County has announced a new name, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra (BBBS NS), reflecting a recent merge with the Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe affiliate. The merger, effective Nov. 1, 2019, is now going through a formal name change and branding process working with the national Big Brothers Big Sisters of America organization. The former Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe agency was founded in 1981 and served Nevada County and surrounding communities, including Truckee, Kings Beach, and the Tahoe City area.
Town Designated ‘Low-Risk’ in Fiscal Health Survey
A state auditor’s analysis showed the Town of Truckee ranked in the top 30 fiscally healthy cities across California. The town received a financially “low-risk” designation, placing it in the top 7% of the 471 cities analyzed statewide. Truckee earned perfect scores in the categories of liquidity, general fund reserves, pension obligations, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) obligations, according to the analysis derived from publicly available financial data from the 2016/17 fiscal year. Truckee earned the ranking of 441 and was among 217 other cities with low-risk marks.
Tahoe Forest Thrift Opens Second Location
Tahoe Forest Health System announced the opening of the new Incline Village location of the Tahoe Forest Hospice Gift & Thrift at 893 Tahoe Blvd., Suite 1500. The store entrance is accessible on the corner of Tanager and Enterprise streets. Store shopping hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; donations are accepted until 4 p.m., space permitting. Acceptable donation items include clean, cared-for clothing, shoes, accessories, household goods, and current books. Every purchase benefits the Tahoe Forest Hospice program. The store offers volunteering opportunities. If interested, contact Ann Mazzini at (530) 582-3518.
TDPUD General Manager Search Expands
As the search for the next general manager continues, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team announced the hiring of executive search firm Peckham & McKenney. Andrew Gorgey is the firm’s vice president and will serve as lead recruiter. The general manager recruitment filing deadline is Feb. 24, and a list of candidates will be recommended March 12, followed by a period of finalist interviews on March 30 and 31. On April 15, the board will release a statement announcing the name of the preferred candidate, and hold a public hearing on May 6 to adopt the ordinance containing the new general manager contract. That ordinance officially goes into effect 30 days after being passed, June 6, and between June 7 and July 30, the contract will be adopted and the new hire will transition into the role.
Main Image Caption: BRIDGING THE GAP: In mid-December, Placer County celebrated the opening of the State Route 89 realignment, which includes the new Truckee River Bridge located in Tahoe City. Photo courtesy Placer County