North Tahoe utility will replace 3 water lines |

North Tahoe utility will replace 3 water lines

Julie Brown/Sierra SunThe North Tahoe Public Utility District installed new fire hydrants and repaved Beaver Street in Kings Beach as part of its sewer and water infrastructure projects this summer. The district board of directors last week approved projects for next year's construction season.

The North Tahoe Public Utility District is already putting the pending rate hikes to use, planning next summer’s excavations and infrastructure improvements.

The approved projects, which fulfill the second year of the district’s five-year capital improvement plan, will be funded by the increased sewer and water fees district homeowners will see on their December utility bills.

The board of directors last week approved three water-line replacement projects for the upcoming 2008 construction season on Speckled Street and Cutthroat Avenue in the Kings Beach Grid, Stag Drive in Tahoe Vista and throughout the Kingswood subdivision.

The cost for pipeline replacements and improvements will fall within an $800,000 budget, the amount the district will annually set aside for waterline expenditures, said Assistant General Manager Lee Schegg.

The district also plans to replace sewer pumps and install a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, a remote monitoring system, in the next construction season, said board President Lane Lewis.

“We’re on track right now,” Lewis said in a phone interview. “This is the time of year that we start planning for all these projects.”

Construction is expected to break ground at the beginning of May at the start of the government-approved grading season. The 2008 improvement projects follow this year’s water and sewer line excavations on Beaver Street ” a venture that will cost less than the budgeted $2.2 million, Lewis said.

“It was a long process here trying to figure out how to get around,” said John Montez, a Beaver Street resident. “The final end of this is really a nice paved road, which we really needed.”

Another Beaver Street homeowner, Sheila Marks, said the work was extensive, but the workers did their best to cater to the residents.

“It’s something that had to be done and I’m grateful that they did it,” Marks said.

Following the district’s Beaver Street replacement, some homeowners have been asked to pay to construct new laterals to connect to the new water main, abandoning their back-yard easements ” a cost back-yard-easement homeowners on Speckled and Cutthroat will have to bear as well.

Beaver Street resident Marie Walther is one such homeowner, who has a backyard easement and must pay for a new private lateral. Walther said it’s going to be an expensive venture, but said she didn’t know exactly how much it will cost. Beaver Street’s rocky soil will increase construction costs for some homeowners, she said.

The Speckled and Cutthroat project involves installing new service lines from the existing water main to private property lines, Schegg said. Homeowners will pay to install the service line from their property line to their residence.

District staff is currently evaluating whether to install a new water main at Stag Drive, or to improve the existing pipe, Schegg said.

Once the projects in the Grid and on Stag Drive are under way, the district will evaluate how much pipe can be replaced in Kingswood. The decision will be based on remaining funds within the $800,000 budget, Schegg said.

Minor periods of interrupted water flow will occur during the construction season. Homeowners will have access to water almost 100 percent of the time, Schegg said.

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