West Reed Avenue

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FAQ’s West Reed Avenue - Last Updated September 25, 2017

West Reed Avenue is located in the western portion of Truckee in the Donner Lake Area.  Through recent events there has been public interest regarding ownership, projects, drainage, and responsibility.  

In the spirit of transparency, below are some frequently asked questions:

Who is Responsible for West Reed Avenue?

Roadways within the Town of Truckee jurisdiction are governed by the Town, and roadways in the un-incorporated areas of Nevada and Placer Counties are governed by the respective Counties.  Prior to the Town of Truckee’s incorporation, West Reed Avenue was “dedicated as a public highway” by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in 1924 at the time that the Greenpoint subdivision was created.  The roadway was never subsequently included in any of the Counties’ maintained road mileage inventories.  The Town’s interpretation is that West Reed Avenue is therefore a “non-maintained public right-of-way”   At the time that the Town of Truckee incorporated in March of 1993, the Town effectively inherited any interest and maintenance responsibility that had previously existed with the County, so this status as a “non-maintained public right-of-way” was continued  , therefore, the responsibility to maintain it lies with the property owners along the road. Please visit the Town of Truckee website for records pertaining to the decision and policies related to West Reed Avenue.

Who is responsible for drainage on West Reed Avenue?

Drainage falls under the umbrella of road maintenance and maintenance of drainage facilities that are directly associated with West Reed Avenue are the responsibility of those who own property along West Reed Avenue.

Why can’t a public agency pay for maintenance or improvements on a private road?

While the answer to this question is complex, the laws governing use of public funds generally prohibit expenditures that primarily benefit private parties.  Such expenditures are considered to be gifts of public funds.

Why can’t the Town just take over West Reed Ave?

In 1995, the Truckee Town Council established a policy under which the Town would accept roadways into the Town maintained system.  The policy states that in order for the Town to accept roadways into the Town maintained system, that the roadway must be constructed to current standards, be in a state of good repair, and that the properties along the roadway generate adequate tax revenue to fund ongoing roadway maintenance.  At this point in time, West Reed Avenue does not meet a current Town standard, nor is it in a state of good repair.  It is likely that West Reed Avenue would  meet the tax revenue generation requirement, however, this has not been confirmed.

What can the TDPUD do for us? 

The Truckee Donner Public Utility District provides water and electric services within our service boundaries.  The TDPUD does not provide other facilities or services, such as roadways or drainage.

TDPUD’s project on the Montano property

Recently there have been assertions that TDPUD’s 2004 pipeline project that was associated with a portion of the Montano property on the far east side of West Reed Ave. changed water flow patterns.  This project was completed in 2004 and included the installation of certain erosion measures which were required by Lahontan Regional Water Control Board. In 2006, the TDPUD paid for a study to ensure the pipeline project had not changed water patterns.  TDPUD staff has monitored the area, including in 2017, and have not seen any evidence that the project is causing changes in water flow or erosion problems. The whole project record is available for public review on the TDPUD website.  Here is the link to the records associated with West Reed Avenue and the Montano property.

TDPUD’s project on West Reed

In 2002, the TDPUD and Southwest Gas completed a joint trenching project throughout the Donner Lake area, including along West Reed Avenue. Southwest Gas hired a contractor and completed the water and the gas joint trench project, which was installed in an easement.  TDPUD maintains our facilities on West Reed Ave.  The associated documents are available on the TDPUD website.  Here is the link to the records associated with West Reed Avenue and the Montano property.

Is TDPUD’s infrastructure on West Reed Avenue safe?

TDPUD staff monitors our infrastructure on a daily basis. During the winter of 2017, the District monitored the water pipeline infrastructure on West Reed Avenue and determined our water infrastructure was safe and operating in good condition.

Did CalTrans Change Drainage when I-80 went in?

CalTrans did improve some of the drainage infrastructure associated with I-80 in the early 2000s. However, Caltrans staff has stated that the improvements incorporated mitigation measures that would maintain the existing drainage patterns south of I-80.  For more information, please contact CalTrans.

Who paved West Reed Avenue?

Prior to incorporation of the Town of Truckee, a West Reed Maintenance fund had been established by private property owners for maintenance purposes on West Reed Avenue.  According to correspondence from homeowners in the area, this private fund paved West Reed Avenue in 1989 and completed periodic maintenance and snow removal services for the roadway. Currently, private funds pay for snow removal services.   

What recent work was being performed on West Reed Avenue? 

During the storm events in 2017, West Reed Avenue became un-passable for emergency vehicles. The Town of Truckee made some improvements to the road to ensure emergency vehicle access was possible.  In the spring of 2017, private property owners hired a contractor to perform road maintenance work on portions of West Reed Avenue. 

What is being done?

The TDPUD is working with a public agency that has engaged with drainage issues.