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Donations, volunteers ease Amgen tour impact in Auburn

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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Donations, volunteers and careful planning are cushioning the financial impact of the Amgen Tour of California ride through Auburn Sunday. The city estimates its total outlay at $3,300. About $300 of that is for the Police Department. “That is the max,” Police Capt. John Ruffcorn said Monday. “We’ve adjusted our schedules with the exception of graveyard-shift people working on Saturday. They’ll be responsible for making sure the route is clear of cars (Sunday morning). We’ve been sending out volunteers to pass our fliers. So if no cars are parked on the route and if we don’t have to flag down owners, that will make it even less.” The remaining $3,000 will be for Public Works, according to Bernie Schroeder, the city’s engineering division manager. “We’ll have eight people working Sunday,” Schroeder said. “They’re organizing road closures, intersection control, signage and picking up the barricades. We’re also going to be working logistics for volunteers — providing water and a portable restroom for them and making sure (we’re taking care of their needs).” The city also placed a cycling banner across Lincoln Way near Streetscape. The $640 price tag for that was paid for out of a $12,000 Placer County air pollution grant. “It’s educating people on using bikes to go to and fro,” Schroeder said. The rest of the funding — to pay for promotional signs, balloons, bleachers, camera crews and the JumboTron — is coming from donations. According to a report from the Auburn Bike Team 2010, sponsors — including Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, Placer County, Victory Velo, Auburn Bike Works, Bicycle Emporium, Recology Auburn Placer Disposal, Auburn Magnussen Toyota and Attorney Mark Berg — have donated $5,500 for the JumboTron. The Downtown and Old Town business associations are putting in another $7,500 for banners, video production, promotion and staging costs. Harris Industrial Gases is also making a donation. In addition, the Auburn Journal, AboutHere.tv and Wave Broadband are giving “in-kind” sponsorships. Besides monetary donations, the three bike shops are providing raffle items and hosting a pre-celebrity tour ride to be held Saturday, according to Alexandra Carnahan, race committee member and owner of Tsuda’s Old Town Eatery. “We’re going to be lining the streets with balloons,” she said. “(The cyclists) will have a literal tunnel to go through. At the same time, we have to be very conscious of cameras filming, helicopters over the top. We want to be able to video this and show what Auburn is capable of doing.” Carnahan is also in charge of arranging for bleachers in Old Town. “They’re costing about $800,” she said. “We’ve had an anonymous person step forward and donate the flatbed truck to move them (from and back to the fairgrounds) for us. It was pretty expensive to have that done. With the Home Show on, it was a logistical nightmare.” For everything else, there are plenty of volunteers to ensure all is running smoothly. “When (Amgen tour officials) held the volunteer training, they were blown away by the number of attendees,” Carnahan said. “They said they had yet to see a city that has shown the amount of support that Auburn has (contributed). Almost 100 people showed up to volunteer. In Davis, there were only 15 volunteers and that’s supposed to be the bike capital of the state.” Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com.