Preparing for the Novel Coronavirus
NEVADA, PLACER, AND WASHOE COUNTIES
As of press deadline, Placer County has reported California’s first death of a patient with COVID-19 (coronavirus) plus four other cases and declared a local health emergency so as to receive state resources. The person, an elderly adult with underlying health conditions, was the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county. Washoe County has reported two presumptive positive case of the virus. Nevada County currently has no confirmed cases of the virus, though it also has declared a local health emergency. Further transmission is expected to occur in the United States and local communities in the future.
Nevada County has activated the 211 call center with Connecting Point. Residents with questions can dial 2-1-1 or 833-DIAL211 (833-342-5211) to talk with a call center representative. There is also an updated website, mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.
Placer County residents can learn more and find updates at placer.ca.gov/coronavirus.
The Washoe County Health District has adapted two existing plans — Quarantine and Isolation Plan and Pandemic Flu Plan — which are being adjusted to COVID-19. The Health District has a webpage dedicated to COVID19, washoecounty.us/covid19.
The Tahoe Forest Health System also put out information on the coronavirus spreading, cautioning anyone with a fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, or gastrointestinal symptoms to avoid visiting friends or family at the hospital to prevent the spread of the virus.
~ Nevada, Placer, and Washoe county and TFHS press releases
Future Transit Center Location
The current transit center location, the Depot, is exceeding its existing capacity needs for transit vehicles and parking. A feasibility study will integrate technical analysis and community input to determine the preferred location for the relocation of the transit center. The preferred site (or modification of the existing site) will aim to provide safer access to transit, reduce traffic congestion, and accommodate increased transit services throughout the region. Review and vote on the different location options at truckeetransitcenter.com.
~ Truckee Transit Center website
Final Concerts for Lake Tahoe Music Festival
After 40-plus years of classical music concerts offered outside with family and friends, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival will call a wrap to its summer festival, with two performances this August as their finale. The nonprofit stated the following: “New [California] employment law AB-5 requirements add to the challenge of meeting our financial goals and create the final stressor on our small nonprofit organization … So we will bring our festival to a close with pride in our longtime contribution to community life in North Tahoe and Truckee.”
~ Lake Tahoe Music Festival website
Reno Generator Seeks Temporary Home
The Reno Generator (The Generator), a community art and maker space known for its iconic large-scale artworks like The Space Whale at Reno’s City Plaza, was recently notified that its lease has been terminated. This news throws the organization into an exploratory process as they are now looking for a temporary space for large art construction. The last day of residency for the Generator at 1240 Icehouse Ave. will be as early as May 31.
~ The Generator press release
TTSA Proposes Staff Schedule Change
Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency is considering two potential changes to staffing schedules, one for staff not on rotating shifts and one for those on rotating shifts. TTSA staff expressed an interest in a different work schedule than the existing one, yielding TTSA management to vet different options that could be beneficial to staff and obtain staff feedback. Approximately 73% of the staff who are not on rotating shifts preferred to change their work schedule to a 4 day-a-week, 10 hour-a-day schedule. This enables staff to have Fridays off. Approximately 67% of the rotating shift staff preferred to change their work week to one with 12-hour shifts.
According to an email from general manager LaRue Griffin, uniform start time will be required for all staff in order to provide proper supervision and efficient coordination. “I am confident the agency will be able to provide sufficient time for staff to adjust to and prepare for the potential schedule change,” LaRue wrote. The possible changes must be approved by the agency’s Board of Directors, which is scheduled to consider the changes at its upcoming March 18 meeting.
~ AH, TTSA General Manager LaRue Griffin email
Placer Approves $3.4M for Trails
The Resort Triangle Trail Project and Martis Valley Trail were among seven projects approved by the board of supervisors in February for $3.4 million in lodging tax funding to support tourism in eastern Placer County.
The county awarded $1.6 million to trail construction in the “Resort Triangle” area, a transportation network that connects Tahoe City, Kings Beach, and Truckee along highways 89, 28, and 267. The Martis Valley Trail, a proposed 9-mile trail connecting Northstar Village with the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Town of Truckee, was awarded $500,000. Other awarded organizations include the Truckee Trails Foundation, the SNOW Sports Museum, and The Stages at Northstar.
~ Placer County press release
Apply for Martis Fund Down Payment Assistance Program
Between 2006 and 2019, Truckee’s Martis Fund invested over $11 million to local nonprofits to support community projects, including roughly $3.75 million spent on forest and habitat restoration, over $3.7 million on projects to protect open spaces, and over $3.8 million to support workforce housing. The project, which is a collaboration between Martis Camp developers, DMB/Highlands Group LLC and its members, Sierra Watch and Mountain Area Preservation, is accepting letters of inquiry for projects that fit those three aims. Visit the Martis Fund website, martisfund.org, or email executive director Heidi Volkhardt Allstead at email@example.com for more information or to apply.
Additionally, the Martis Fund has announced that, in partnership with the Sierra Business Council, they are relaunching their Homebuyer’s Assistance Program, committing $500,000 to aid prospective homebuyers in the area with loans of up to $50,000 or 10% of the price of the home (whichever is less). SBC is currently working with local mortgage brokers and realtors to launch the program. Loans will be made on a first-come-first-served basis.
~ BL, Martis Fund Press Release
Fanny Bridge Construction Update
Construction of a roundabout at the Tahoe City “wye” intersection, the replacement of Fanny Bridge, and the creation of a complete street on West Lake Boulevard between Fanny Bridge and the Tahoe City Transit Center may begin spring 2021. The estimated completion of the project is fall 2022. This construction work has been programmed for Federal Lands Access Program funding in fiscal year 2021 pending local match.
~ Tahoe Transportation District newsletter
Library, KidZone Museum Secure New Locations at Regional Park
The Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District board recently voted to approve Truckee River Regional Park space for the new KidZone Museum. The museum will expand and relocate after a $10.5 million capital funding campaign, which commenced with TDRPD’s approval.
Also approved within the park was a location for the new Truckee Library. Louise Zabriskie, president of Friends of the Truckee Library, said the next 10 to 12 months will be dedicated to an outreach program, helping the community understand how the proposed 20,000-square-foot library would benefit the Truckee community.
Placer Funding to Resurface Roads
More than 132 miles of county roads will be resurfaced this summer with the Placer County Board of Supervisors recently approving $5 million for the work. Placer’s Department of Public Works will now seek bids for two project contracts, one for each type of resurfacing work. The projects are county-funded and will be in addition to the road rehabilitation projects funded by the county’s share of Senate Bill 1.
~ Placer County press release
Economic Resource Council Offers Home Repair Loan, Grant Program
The Economic Resource Council is launching a pilot program to offer home improvement and repair grants at a maximum of $10,000 and loans at a maximum of $40,000 for residents of Nevada County in need of financial assistance. Grants are only available in designated rural areas of the county with populations at or below 35,000 (residents can check their address to see if they qualify on the USDA’s website). To be eligible for a home repair loan, which can be repaid over 20 years at a fixed interest rate of 1%, residents must also: “Own the home and lot, and occupy the house, be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere, [and] have a family income below 50% of the area median income.” For grants, prospective recipients must be 62 or older and show they are unable to repay a loan.
~ BL, Nevada County ERC email
Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue Relocates Headquarters
Effective March 9, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District relocated its headquarters from the Washoe County Complex located at 1001 E. Ninth Street to 3663 Barron Way in Reno. The move offers the fire district greater efficiency by consolidating administration, fleet, and logistics personnel under one roof. The main phone number will remain the same: (775) 326-6000. There were no disruptions to emergency fire and rescue services.
~ Washoe County press release
Empowered Youth Boarders at Boreal
Forty area youths enjoyed a six-week snowboarding program this winter season at Boreal Mountain thanks to an initiative by Reno nonprofit Chill Foundation. Participants also got to take advantage of the adjoining Woodward Tahoe facilities, which included trampolines, foam pits, and more. All associated costs were covered for the participants including transportation, gear, lift tickets, lessons, and access to the Woodward Bunker.
Chill is a positive youth development program where boardsports become a vehicle for empowerment and inspire participants to overcome challenges. Revolving around a core value-driven curriculum, Chill programs consist of experiential learning activities, reflection, and discussion, paired with boardsport lessons.
“The Chill Reno program is the culmination of years of hard work. We’re incredibly stoked to be back on snow and in the Bunker in partnership with multiple amazing organizations that serve youth facing challenges,” said Alex Bornstein, executive director at Chill. “The energy and passion in Reno for Chill’s work is unparalleled and we can’t wait to see how this program evolves.”
~ JD, Chill Foundation press release
Tahoe National Forest Service Equipment Vandalized, Stolen
NEVADA CITY, TRUCKEE
The U.S. Forest Service will reward up to $500 for the recovery of stolen firefighter equipment and/or any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of government property. The equipment and other stolen items were taken from Tahoe National Forest Headquarters in Nevada City during late December 2019 to early January 2020. Some equipment was recovered, however, the majority of the stolen items are still at large. Firefighter equipment was stolen as well as several radios.
Two rocks were also used to smash the windows of a road grader on site of the Big Jack East Project back in November. The gate to access the site would’ve been open, public service staff officer John Groom told Moonshine Ink, but he didn’t want to speculate on whether the vandals were teenagers or people angry with the project taking place. Since then, Groom said, crews have been keeping “a better eye” on site equipment.
~ AH, U.S. Forest Service press release
Health System, Medical Group Join Forces
Tahoe Forest Health System recently announced its merger with Truckee Tahoe Medical Group. Effective March 1, TTMG became part of Tahoe Forest’s primary care services. The group will now practice under the name of Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics Primary Care. The clinic and office locations, services, providers and staff will remain the same, with the same insurance carriers, hours, and phone number.
~ TFHS press release
TCPUD Recognized for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The Tahoe City Public Utility District has once again received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, for the third year in a row.
~ TCPUD press release
Sierra Day Lobbies for Regional Funding
A team organized and sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Business Council, The Sierra Fund, and the Sierra Water Work Group went to the capitol for a lobby day called Sierra Day in the Capitol to “highlight the climate resiliency and funding needs of the region with a focus on the development of a climate resilience bond for the November 2020 statewide ballot,” according to the description of the event on the Sierra Alliance’s website. The day began with education and training on best strategies when talking to legislators and their staff, continued with meetings with legislators and staff during “no host” lunches, and concluded with the opportunity for participants to debrief how the conversations went.