California assembly proposes bill to preserve funding for snow removal

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 3, 2010 7:18 am

Coming out of the Tahoe Daily Tribune: “A new bill in California’s general assembly would protect Truckee and South Lake Tahoe from any future cuts in snow removal funding.

Assemblyman Ted Gaines of Roseville introduced Assembly Bill 2704 Thursday, saying it would preserve funding for snow removal in case road maintenance funds were cut.

“A hit to road funding in these areas would devastate the local economy and would be disastrous for public education, public safety and the very ability to travel,” Gaines said in a press release.

Last November, funding for snow removal in the Tahoe Basin was nearly cut in half because of a proposal to protect full-time workers in California, but a last-minute decision to transfer surplus funds from other departments to fund snow removal saved the cuts from happening.

This bill would make the Tahoe area immune to such cuts, were they to happen in the state.

Jan Colyer, executive director of the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, said she’s not familiar with the bill, but said funding for snow removal shouldn’t be cut by the state.

“As a transportation person or a citizen here, I can’t imagine them taking money from snow removal,” she said.

Colyer said she thinks the bill is a good idea given continual state budget cuts. Cuts are impacting programs previously thought to be essential, she said.

“We should secure it,” Colyer said.

Mark Dinger, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation’s third district, which includes El Dorado, Nevada, Placer and Sierra counties, said it isn’t appropriate for the department to comment on any possible legislation.”