TTSA OKs connection fee hike
Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency recently approved a 100-percent connection fee increase, funding a needed expansion of its sewer plant to handle future flow capacity, General Manager Craig Woods said.
In a regular meeting March 24, the board approved the increase, raising the cost of the TTSA connection to $4,000 for a single family home.
“All other categories go up in proportion,” Woods said explaining that TTSA connection fees for other types of structures also doubled across the board.
Woods said TTSA, which treats water for Truckee, Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and part of West Shore, is currently at 80 percent of its capacity. The agency is looking to the future needs of its customers by planning now for expansion.
TTSA published a notice of preparation for plant expansion a year ago and began environmental documentation for a plant expansion, Woods said. In the past year, TTSA developed a project report detailing the need for a plant expansion and a draft environmental impact report, which should be available soon.
The proposed expansion would increase the plant’s flow capacity from 7.4 million gallons per day to 9.6 million gallons per day. The total expansion could cost upwards of $35 million to $40 million, and would be funded from connection fees and other revenue.
TTSA has had a $4,000 connection fee previously, from 1981-89, Woods said. The agency reduced the fee 10 years ago to $2,000, until it needed to raise it again to pay for expansion costs.
A number of contractors attended the meeting last week to discuss the fee increase, Administrative Manager Marcia Beals said.
“No one had issue with the amount of the increase, but they had an issue with when it became effective,” Beals said. She said the board approved a delay in implementing the fee increase, making it effective July 1 instead of June 1 as originally planned.
Woods said TTSA split the project into two phases to spread out the cost over a longer period.
“The first phase would be to increase capacity hydraulically, ” he said. “The second phase would be to increase the support facilities for solids handling and nitrogen removal. That reduces the cost down to $18 million for the first phase and allows us to build or expand as the money comes in. That way, we are not building a big portion of capacity and not using it for a number of years.”
Woods said the planned expansion is expected to support TTSA’s coverage area through 2015. The plant currently has flows of around 5 million gallons daily.
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