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A Future for the Railyard? Was this a Miracle March?

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With Nugget out of the picture, what is the future of the Railyard development?

We’ll wait and see if there’s a way that we can get a full-service grocery in and if we can’t after a while we’ll have to adjust and see what our other options are. Everything about the project is going ahead — all we are is disappointed about the grocery store.

The immediate future is we’ve just completed the move of the Union Pacific out of their old building and into a new headquarters. They’re up and running and we’re going to be demolishing the old Union Pacific building starting in about four weeks. Then, as the weather clears a little more we’re going to start the roadwork where we’re redoing Donner Pass Road and taking out what people call the ‘swoosh’ and building the new intersection in the main part of the downtown. That’s 100 percent on track. I don’t think people have been able to see a lot of the work done since last summer but we’ve done $15 million worth of work out there. Getting the railroad out of the way was one of the most significant things that had to get done for the town to start growing east, and that’s done so Phase 2 of the improvements will start soon. 

Where the Union Pacific building will be coming down is where the Artist [Lofts] building will be going up and the project has been approved as we all know; financing for that was secured in December. We had a tragic loss with Ali Youssefi passing away just a few weeks ago. Ali was the son of the founder of the development company and their intent is to finish it because it was one of Ali’s real joys and passions to see artist housing in Truckee. The artist housing is going ahead with some sadness but it’s going ahead with resolve.

The movie theater I get asked about quite a bit, and we have, I think, a purchase and sale agreement either finished or almost finished with Steven and Melissa Siig. There are some plans, they’ve hired an architect, and they’ve come up with a plan for three screens I believe. It is going to be built as soon as we can get the roadwork done this summer.

~ Phone interview with Rick Holliday, owner of Holliday Development, Truckee


Was This Really a Miracle March?

Was March 2018 a Miracle March? That is a good question, and in a short answer: YES! Precipitation amounts across the area were well above normal with most locations within the top five record years. For Tahoe City, 12.32 inches of precipitation fell (mostly in the form of snow) which made it the fourth wettest March on record since 1903. This value is similar to the original Miracle March in 1991, but well short of the record 19.58 inches that fell in 1995. That 12.32 inches was more than two and a half times the normal of 4.72 inches for March (261 percent).

This represented a significant bump in the snowpack and water supply for the region. At the end of February, the Tahoe Basin and Eastern Sierra snowpack was at 36 percent of average. This rose to 83 percent by April 1 as a result of the very wet and snowy March. For the water supply, on Feb. 28 the forecast for spring melt on the Carson river was only 51 percent of average. By March 31, the forecast for spring melt was at 114 percent of average. (Water supply forecasts are from the California Nevada River Forecast Center.)

By both these measures, such a significant jump is similar to what occurred back in March 1991, the original Miracle March. This is great for our water supply and also keeps us from slipping back into drought. So yes, we had a Miracle March, and with another wet storm the first weekend of April, it looks like it is continuing into the early part of April.

~ Jim Wallmann, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Reno 

 
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April 12, 2018