Tahoe Donner buries underground utility plan | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Donner buries underground utility plan

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Tahoe Donner is abandoning the idea of burying utility lines after the majority of homeowners urged the association to drop the estimated $163 million project.

“From the board’s perspective there is not enough public sentiment to move forward with this issue,” said Darren Shaw, Tahoe Donner Association general manager.

Association members opposed the project by a three-to-one margin, according to 2,300 results from a recent survey, Shaw said.

Tahoe Donner spent nearly $150,000 from the subdivision’s road improvement fund managed by the town to study the utilities project. The study was completed in February and showed that burying all of the utilities would cost each homeowner approximately $25,000, according to the report.

If the project is financed with a bond, that total would rise to nearly $39,000 per property. That figure does not include homeowners’ responsibility to extend the utilities from the edge of their property to their home, which would likely cost between $5,000 and $10,000 per home, according to a representative of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District.

Construction was expected to take as long as 10 years, according to the study.

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Since the electrical system has about 40 years of life left in it, and the cable television and telephone systems have up to 20 years of life, the improvements to the subdivision after undergrounding would be mostly aesthetic.

The homeowners association plans to send the results of the survey and the study to the Town of Truckee, Shaw said.

But Shaw said the results of the survey were a clear enough message to the board to drop the utility undergrounding project.