California communities are leading the fight against climate change. In particular, the Town of Truckee is making great strides to create a healthy, sustainable and economically prosperous community. Earlier this month, the Institute for Local Government announced that the Town of Truckee has been selected as one of the 2019 Beacon Award Winners for the Town’s Sustainability Best Practices.
The Beacon Program provides a framework for local governments to share best practices that create healthier, more vibrant and sustainable communities. The award program honors voluntary efforts by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies that promote sustainability.
The Town of Truckee received the 2019 Spotlight Award, recognizing individual accomplishments of the city and county in 10 key elements necessary to achieve the award.
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Activities
- Water & Wastewater Systems Activities
- Green Building Activities
- Waste Reduction and Recycling Activities
- Climate-friendly Purchasing Activities
- Renewable Energy and LowCarbon Fuels Activities
- Efficient Transportation Activities
- Land Use and Community Design Activities
- Open Space and Offsetting Carbon Emission Activities
- Promoting Community and Individual Action Activities
From small projects to large-scale programs, the Town of Truckee has made a conscious effort to become more sustainable. To see how Truckee’s stacked up, access the complete report here. Below are just a few highlights from each of the best practice activities.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Activities
Gold – The town brought on a consultant team who produced a Strategic Energy Plan, including $300,000 worth of recommended energy efficiency actions. The town budgeted $240,000 to implement these improvements in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Water & Wastewater Systems Activities
Silver – All of the town’s newest buildings are equipped with the latest water-saving technology, including low flow toilets and faucet aerators. The town collects 8,000 gallons of snowmelt and rainwater from roofs each year, which is used for street sweepers and vehicle washing.
Gold – The town’s stormwater program has placed over 100 storm drain markers throughout town and organized storm drain art painting contests to promote the message of “only rain down the storm drain.” The stormwater program also regularly hands out native seeds for native vegetation reestablishment as mitigation for erosion associated with ground disturbance from construction projects.
Platinum – The town requires all new commercial projects to implement source control measures to eliminate discharge into local water bodies. The town also inspects commercial and industrial facilities and monitors water quality to check for illicit discharges.
Green Building Activities
Silver – The town built its new Corp Yard to meet LEED Silver standards in 2011.
Gold – The town implemented the mPOWER Placer PACE program in 2016. After a one-year trial period, the town authorized participation in four additional PACE programs: HERO, CaliforniaFIRST, Ygrene, and FigTree.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Activities
Platinum – The town has a recycling-oriented website, Keep Truckee Green, which provides residents with a recycling guide and other information about solid waste services. Through the site, the Solid Waste Division sends out monthly newsletters with tips and event announcements.
Platinum – The town provides drop-off bins for batteries and foil-lined wrappers for proper disposal and recycling.
Climate-friendly Purchasing Activities
Gold – The town runs a reusable to-go box program with three participating restaurants. Customers buying a meal to go can purchase a reusable green box to avoid using a single-use container. Customers can continue trading in their used green box for a clean one with their next to-go meal from participating restaurants.
Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Fuels Activities
Silver – The town replaced streetlights along Brockway Road with solar-powered streetlights in early 2018. Due to the distance between the lights, each one would have required its own electric meter and service connection at a cost of approximately $12,000 each. The solar-powered lights eliminate this cost while improving visibility for pedestrians.
Efficient Transportation Activities
Platinum – On July 1, 2019, the town implemented free passenger fares on the Truckee public transit system. As of April 30, 2019, the fixed route service has experienced a 25% increase in overall ridership with a 16% ridership increase seen on the dial-a-ride service.
Land Use and Community Design Activities
Platinum – The Railyard Master Plan lays out plans for development at the eastern end of downtown Truckee—one of the primary locations for infill in town. The first goal in the plan is: “encourage vibrant and economically sustainable mixed-use redevelopment that offers diverse retail, entertainment, employment and housing opportunities.”
Open Space and Offsetting Carbon Emission Activities
Gold – The town’s Development Code has regulations regarding tree preservation including requiring site designs to maximize tree retention, receive a zoning clearance for tree removal, and mitigate approved tree removal.
Promoting Community and Individual Action Activities
Gold – The town has hosted three fix-it clinics in partnership with the Truckee Roundhouse during which residents can bring broken household items to the makerspace and have them repaired for free by handy volunteers. These events have prevented at least 60 household items from going to the landfill.
The Town is excited to continue working toward these goals and is very appreciative of the recognition from the ILG. View the full report, and see what the Town has been doing to receive such a distinguished award. Full Report
“Town of Truckee.” News & Updates | Town of Truckee, 2019, www.townoftruckee.com/Home/Components/News/News/5903/21.
“Institute for Local Government.” Institute for Local Government, 2019, www.ca-ilg.org/.