Town, airport to help close center shortfall | nnbw.com

Town, airport to help close center shortfall

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

Public and private entities are pooling their resources to ensure the Truckee aquatic center gets built.

The town of Truckee, Truckee Tahoe Airport District and Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District, along with a private donation, have contributed to close a roughly $1 million project shortfall.

In January, the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District received four bids, with the lowest being $6.69 million, to construct the center with an eight-lane competition pool.

The construction budget, however, is about $5.7 million, causing the district to search for extra funding.

"It's a miracle," said TDRPD vice chair Kevin Murphy, regarding the contributed money. "I remember when the bids came in, and we were all … 'What do we do?' It was immediately, 'we're going to do this, this and this,' and bygone, it happened.

"Everybody in this town is going to be a recipient of the benefits, and I want to thank everybody."

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Recently, Truckee Town Council approved $125,000 in Economic Development Incentive Program funds requested by TDRPD, which will go toward covering the town's traffic and facilities impact fees.

According to town staff, such an approach is allowed under existing town policy if the project provides "an extraordinary benefit" to Truckee residents.

Another public agency — Truckee Tahoe Airport District — recently OK'd $405,045.70 to cover costs associated with building safety requirements enforced by the Truckee Tahoe Airport Land Use Commission, a separate entity from TTAD. Funding will come from district reserves.

"I believe in building community, and this is an example of agencies using community dollars to build community," said TTAD director Mary Hetherington at a Feb. 25 meeting.

The airport board approved the measure in a 4-0 vote, with director Jim Morrison abstaining, since he helped start a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable named the Kawyha Fund, which is making a private donation of $200,000.

Closing the gap, the TDRPD board approved transferring $326,357 in reserves for center construction.

"It's been a long slog, with a lot of ups and downs, but to me this is just an amazing example of the community that we live in, where several government organizations and private donors are coming together for the public good," said Dan Kates, president of the Truckee Aquatic Coalition. "To me, it's a case study."

With funding secured, the TDRPD board unanimously awarded a $6,713,417 contract to build the center with a 10-lane competition pool to Reno-based Building Solutions, Inc.

"… We're not done," Murphy said. "We've got a lot of work to do, especially the warm water element."

At its Feb. 25 meeting, the airport board also approved $525,000 in matching funds toward the installation of a warm water pool and party room (both were part of the original project and made optional due to budget constraints), on the basis of TDRPD raising the difference ($468,550).

Construction is anticipated to start in mid-April, taking nine months to a year to complete.

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