North Tahoe PUD chief to resign; infrastructure improvements on tap? |

North Tahoe PUD chief to resign; infrastructure improvements on tap?

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun
NTPUD General Manager Curtis Aaron.

TAHOE VISTA, Calif. and#8212; The leader of a North Lake Tahoe utility district will step down effective Dec. 17, officials announced Wednesday.

Curtis Aaron, general manager of the North Tahoe Public Utility District, offered his resignation to the board of directors recently, according to a press release, bringing an end to his three-and-a-half-year tenure.

and#8220;Curtis has made significant contributions to the district in his short time here,and#8221; said Lane Lewis, president of the board of directors, in a statement. and#8220;In addition to the significant capital projects that have been completed in his tenure, the district has reduced spending and improved administrative operations. He will be missed.and#8221;

Planning and Engineering Manager Paul Schultz has been named interim general manager. The NTPUD board of directors will discuss a search for a new general manager during the next regular meeting on Dec. 17.

Aaron said he is relocating to Southern California due to family concerns.

and#8220;(A member of my family) is really ill and I’m the patriarch of the family, so I decided to step down and attend to my family,and#8221; he said.

Aaron said the district has achieved much during his stint as GM, including increasing efficiencies to reduce costs, organizational restructuring and infrastructure replacement.

and#8220;We have seven times the amount of meters compared to when I began, so there has been a lot of progress,and#8221; he said. and#8220;I’m excited about the changes going on here, and I think a lot of the initiatives will save our customers money in the long run.and#8221;

At a Nov. 9 meeting, the utility district’s board of directors voted to authorize a $20,000 agreement between the district and Truckee-based Acumen Engineering to explore design possibilities for a new administrative and operations facility.

and#8220;Our current building is situated on 108 acres, so the engineering firm will craft three different layouts and it will be up to the board to select the layout that serves the district best,and#8221; Aaron said earlier this week.

Curtis said the current facility is degrading rapidly, presents costly inefficiencies and does not fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

and#8220;The existing buildings do not include infrastructure for modern computer hardware or wiring, (contains) HVAC deficiencies and have a number of other defects such as crumbling walls and leaking foundations,and#8221; he said.

Aaron is confident the project will not affect the district’s ratepayers, as plans are in place to take out a 30-year bond. The district will be able to siphon money out of its capital projects fund over an extended period, Aaron said, which will present minimal impacts to the rates.

and#8220;Our hope is the conceptual plan will be finalized by January or February,and#8221; Aaron said.

There are no preliminary cost estimates, he said, adding Acumen Engineering will formulate estimates during the initial design phase.

and#8220;Discussions regarding this project will take place during regular Board of Director’s meetings in the coming months,and#8221; Aaron said.

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