TRUCKEE, Calif. — The town of Truckee will soon seek community input regarding the future of its trail network.
Truckee Town Council recently OK’d a public interest poll to find out what is of higher priority — trail construction or maintenance — and how to fund potential future efforts, including through bond measures and sales tax increases, among other sources.
“I feel like we’re asking from a position of strength right now,” said council member Alicia Barr. “There is no threat of our trails falling apart in the next six months, so it’s not this dire need that feels desperate to the community.
“It’s more of we truly just want a sense of what the community is feeling.”
Dan Wilkins, public works director/town engineer, said the poll will be conducted either in late October, early November or January 2014.
San Francisco-based TBWB Strategies, a strategy and communications consulting firm specializing in public finance ballot measures supporting programs, services and facilities, will conduct the survey.
Cost for the poll and a report on its results is not to exceed $33,000, with money coming from the town’s general fund.
Once results are in, town council will determine how to best use the information — whether to pursue a funding measure, to inform the Truckee Trails and Bikeways Master Plan update that is slated for fiscal year 2013-14, or some combination thereof.
Historically, funding sources for trail construction within town limits have included grants, the town’s road maintenance sales tax and the general fund, Wilkins said.
“From a staff perspective, we don’t believe we currently have a lot of excess general fund dollars floating around to start dedicating $1 million a year to trail construction and maintenance,” he told the council on Aug. 27.
Timing of construction of local trails has been driven mainly by the town’s ability to compete for and receive grant funding, thereby limiting progress in completing trail projects.
Since most trails in town are relatively new, maintenance costs have been low, according to the town. Yet, as they get older, costs to maintain them will rise.
Previous community interest polling results indicate a high level of resident support for trail construction and maintenance, according to the town. None of those surveys focused on the possibility of trail funding mechanisms, however.