Town Finds Almost Half of Truckee’s Short Term Rentals not Paying TOT

TRUCKEE

In June, the Town of Truckee contracted tech company Host Compliance to quantify how many short-term rentals are in Truckee and what their rate of paying their transit occupancy tax (TOT) is. Short-term renters — visitors who stay less than 30 days — are required to pay a TOT tax, which is 10 percent of their rent costs, plus a 2 percent assessment known as the Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). Documents from the Town show Host Compliance found 979 unique APNs (assessor’s parcel number) advertising rentals online. Of those, 567 had registered with the Town, leaving 412 properties flying under the radar. The Town will be contacting owners of all non-registered properties that are advertised online and requesting they register their property and to report and remit TOT and TBID monies in arrears to October 1, 2015. If done within 60 days of the date of the notification the Town will waive all penalties and interest otherwise due. If the homeowners don’t comply, the Town will calculate and impose amounts due along with penalties and interest, said the Town’s Kim Szczurek. Info: townoftruckee.com

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Funding Approved for Bark Beetle Removal

PLACER COUNTY

In late September, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to remove bark beetle-infested trees that could damage or destroy county infrastructure. County staff has identified approximately 1,800 trees requiring immediate removal. At an estimated $1,700 per tree, the total cost of the project is expected to be about $3.1 million. Placer County will seek reimbursement through the California Disaster Assistance Act that would repay the county for 75 percent of the tree removal costs. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimates there are 66 million dead and dying trees in the state, and Placer County is one of 10 counties identified to be significantly affected by tree mortality. Info: placer.ca.gov/trees


Truckee Roundhouse Makerspace Opening

TRUCKEE

The Roundhouse is a nonprofit at the center of an effort to bring a makerspace — a community-operated workspace where people with common interests can meet to socialize and collaborate — to Truckee. After two years of planning, the Truckee Roundhouse will see a limited opening on Nov. 3, with its first 50 annual members having full access to the building’s five shops — metal, wood, ceramics, technology, and textiles — and usage of tools like a CNC plasma cutter, CNC router, cube 3D printers, wood shop tools, a full ceramic shop, and more. Full access is scheduled to begin Dec. 1. Info: truckeeroundhouse.org


Narcotics Dog Trax Receives High Honor

TRUCKEE

Drug-toting citizens beware, we have a nationally recognized canine on the payroll in Truckee, and he’s fresh off a big win. Officer Andrew Holbrook and his canine partner Trax competed in the Western States Police Canine Association Trials this year, where points are awarded when the K-9 team “alerts” to narcotics. Based on their performance in the event, the association awarded Officer Holbrook and Trax the Top Narcotics Competitor of the Year. Trax joined the Truckee Police Department in the fall of 2013 when he was two years old. Info: Truckee Police Canine Association’s Facebook page


Lake Tahoe Restoration Act Passes Senate, Moves to House

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The reauthorization of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act — originally signed in 2000 by President Bill Clinton — passed the senate in a 95-3 vote. The bill authorizes $415 million in funding for the Tahoe Basin over the next 10 years. The bill now moves to the House, where it must be approved before it’s sent to the President’s desk. The $415 million include the following:

$150 million for wildfire prevention, including fuel reduction projects and infrastructure.

$80 million for the Environmental Improvement Program, which includes new bike trails, creek restoration and fire treatment.

$45 million to combat invasive species like the quagga mussel and Asian clam.

$113 million in storm water projects addressing runoff and erosion.

$20 million to help recover the Lahontan cutthroat trout.


Placer County and USFS to prepare Joint Environmental Document for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Gondola

OLYMPIC VALLEY

Placer County and the U.S. Forest Service have decided to prepare a single joint environmental document, after receiving written and oral comments on the project. Initially, both the county and the Forest Service planned to prepare separate environmental documents. However, the two agencies decided to issue only one, meeting both state and federal environmental impact report and environmental impact statement requirements. Due to this change, and in order to comply with California Environmental Quality Act requirements, Placer County has released a revised notice of preparation triggering a new 30-day comment period. The project proposal remains the same. A draft EIR/EIS is expected to be available for review next year, followed by a second comment period. Info: placer.ca.gov


Soroptimist Group Makes Two Local Donations to Benefit Girls

TRUCKEE

In September, Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner made two donations totaling $7,500. The KidZone Museum received $6,000 to start the Girls in Science Program that offers hands-on science exploration opportunities for girls. The second donation of $1,500 was made to the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Wellness Program for the Truckee High Peer Mentor Training, which eases the transition from middle school to high school for girls entering ninth grade. Info: Pam English, (408) 316-2413, pam@phfspec.com


Increased Snowfall Year Boosts Lodging

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

The high snowfall during the winter of 2015-16 is credited with an 18 percent increase in North Tahoe lodging tax revenue, according to Placer County. Transient occupancy tax, or TOT, is collected from lodging guests by nearly 4,000 registered hospitality operators on behalf of the county. Overall, TOT collections in the Tahoe area increased by more than $3 million in the county’s previous fiscal year, from July 2015 through June 2016, including more than $900,000 in unpaid back TOT collected. Numbers were especially high during the winter ski season, but up the rest of the year as well. Info: placer.ca.gov


A $10.7 Million Grant Awarded for Coldstream Affordable Housing

TRUCKEE

Planned Community 1, also known as the Coldstream neighborhood, has been awarded a $10.7 million in grant funding through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program. Stonebridge Properties, a subsidiary of Teichert (and the Coldstream developers), Neighborhood Partners, and the Town of Truckee were co-applicants on the grant, which will be used toward infrastructure, trails, and 48 affordable housing units within Coldstream’s mixed use village. Info: townoftruckee.com


High Schools Partner to Form New Lacrosse Team

TRUCKEE

+Impact School at Tahoe Expedition Academy has partnered with the region’s high schools and local recreation organizations to launch the new Truckee Lacrosse Team. Consisting of boys’ varsity and junior varsity high school teams and a girls’ varsity high school team, it is open to all high school athletes living in Truckee. A community-based athletic organization, the Truckee Lacrosse Team will participate in the High Sierra Lacrosse League this spring, competing against teams from the Tahoe Basin, Reno and beyond. The official high school lacrosse season begins in March; however, additional opportunities to pursue the sport locally are available this fall, winter and summer. Info: truckeelacrosseteam.org


Bear Yuba Land Trust Secures Conservation

SOUTH YUBA RIVER HEADWATERS

Three alpine lakes and 2,000 remote acres of forest and granite landscapes are now permanently protected by the nonprofit Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) on land owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Fordyce, Meadow, and Sterling lakes became protected forever in the conservation easements by BYLT. The newly conserved acreage around the three reservoirs in Nevada County supports habitat for a diverse range of wildlife including special status species such as the American martin, Pacific fisher, mountain yellow-legged frog, and the elusive California wolverine. Info: Laura Petersen, (530) 272-5994 x 211, laura@bylt.org


Tahoe Students Contribute Work to Local Businesses

TRUCKEE

Two students, one from Truckee High and the other from Sierra Nevada College, are working on a solar array for the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe, and an art installation at the Sagehen Creek Research Station, respectively. Truckee High senior Bella Bono, a longtime volunteer at the HSTT, is planning, funding, and installing a solar array for the animal shelter. The 22 solar panels and other equipment should last about 25 years, saving the Humane Society and Town of Truckee an estimated $42,000 over their lifespan.

The second project is by Mary Grace Tate, an MFA student at SNC, installed in the Fish House, a fish observing structure at Sagehen. Tate created a series of educational plaques titled “Educated Endangered Trout.” But instead of being directed toward humans, her work is meant to “inform” (in tongue-in-cheek fashion) the cutthroat, brook, and rainbow trout who sit outside the window. Five translucent pink panels face out toward the fish habitat. The style is meant “to mimic the traditional tone of zoological institutions,” said Tate in a press release. Info: hstt.org for Bono’s project, and Julia Schwadron, jschwadron@sierranevada.edu, for Tate’s project.


Take Care Campaign Chosen as Finalist in National Recreation Awards

LAKE TAHOE

SHIFT, a national recreation and conservation conference in Jackson, Wyo., has recognized the Take Care campaign by naming it as an official selection in the 2016 SHIFT Award Nonprofit Leadership Category. The award recognizes individuals, an initiative, or an organization that makes innovative, impactful and replicable contributions to conservation through human-powered outdoor recreation. Take Care is a campaign designed to motivate residents and visitors in the Tahoe Region to take better care of the environment. More than 60 partners across the region are using its materials in their outreach efforts, from the streets of downtown Tahoe City to the trail maps in Truckee and the beaches of South Lake Tahoe. Info: takecaretahoe.org


Statewide Water Conservation Drops Below 18 Percent in August

CALIFORNIA

The State Water Resources Control Board today announced that urban Californians’ monthly water conservation declined to 17.7 percent in August, down from 27 percent savings in August 2015. This raises concerns that some water suppliers are abandoning their focus on conservation as California heads into a possible sixth drought year. However, Californians continue to conserve water in significant amounts. Since June 2015, two million acre-feet of water has been saved — enough water to supply 10 million people, more than one-quarter the state’s 38 million population, for a year. Info: drought.ca.gov

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