The Placer County Board of Supervisors met in winter weather conditions at the Sugar Bowl ski area on Tuesday in their regularly scheduled Board meeting for the eastern end of the county. As is the case with these meetings, the Board addressed numerous items dealing with that end of the county.
Included in those items were a funding agreement for acquiring property in the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort; replacement of county regulations for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) use above 5,000 feet elevation; and the purchase of two self propelled snowblowers to add to the county’s existing fleet.
The Board approved a $300,000 contribution in Park Dedication Fees from the Serene Lakes Recreation Area fund to help purchase Royal Gorge. Working in partnership with the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Lands and the Northern Sierra Partnership, the acquisition of the 2,891 acre-site will permanently protect the property’s natural resources and create opportunities for public recreation in an area that has been closed to the general public for 50 years. As the funds are being taken from park dedication fees, there is no cost to the county.
The new LPG regulations approved by the Board arose from problems with substandard propane systems. These problems became readily apparent two winters ago when heavy snowfall caused dozens of propane systems to fail and leak. One home in the Donner Summit area was destroyed when leaking propane filled the home and then exploded. No one was injured in the incident.
The Board’s action was the first reading of the new regulations. A second reading will occur in November. Should the Board approve that reading the regulations will take effect 30 days after that date.
The regulations were the result of multiple meetings with a “High Country” focus group. The group was comprised of County staff, the Contractor's Association of Truckee-Tahoe, each of the four Fire Districts serving the area (North Tahoe Fire Prevention District, Northstar Community Service District, Squaw Valley Public Service District, and the Truckee Fire Protection District), the Western Propane Association, and the Serene Lakes Property Owner's Association. The results of the meetings are regulations clarifying terms and language; allowing the use of technologically advanced systems and components; revised tank identification and annual inspection practices; and stops non-conforming system use through enforcement mechanisms.
Placer County, behind the California Department of Transportation, is responsible for snow clearing operations on the second highest number of roads miles in the state. The county regularly maintains and upgrades its snow removal equipment. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board authorized the purchase of two new self propelled snowblowers. The $1.1 million cost for the two apparatuses is funded by the county’s Road Fund with no net county cost.