Sanitation agency increases rates |

Sanitation agency increases rates

Home and business owners from the North Shore to Truckee will be ringing in the New Year with another above-average rate increase, this one coming from the Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency.

Starting with the first bill of the New Year, average homeowners will see their twice-yearly statements jump from $108 to $135. An additional increase to $137.50 will go into effect on July 1, 2007, said Assistant General Manager Marcia Beals.

The agency has also scheduled possible rate increases for 2008 though 2010.

“This is all related to utilities. About 70 percent are due to the expanded facilities and the other 30 percent is for increases in utility rates, and that includes heating fuels, electricity and natural gas,” Beals said.

Rising costs in doing business have been pushing up rates for a number of public services and districts, including the Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Sierra

Pacific Power Co., and the United States Postal Service, to name a few.

But the sanitation agency is also finalizing its financial plan for a facility expansion 13 years in the making, and that is adding additional financial strains.

The sewage plant serves five special districts in the Truckee-Tahoe region. The districts ” including North Tahoe Public Utility District, Tahoe City Public Utility District, Truckee Sanitary District, Squaw Valley County Water District and Alpine Springs County Water District ” maintain the lines and pump stations that transport wastewater to the regional plant in Truckee.

The sanitation agency is a major contributor of reclaimed water to the Truckee River and is undergoing a $66 million expansion to accommodate new development in the region.

The three main goals of the expansion, said sanitation agency General Manager Craig Woods, are to increase capacity from 7.4 million gallons of wastewater per day to 9.6 million gallons, install new equipment to remove nitrogen from the system because it’s better for water quality, and develop an additional way of separating water from solid material.

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