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Water plan update planned

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

As new developments and construction projects continue in Truckee, the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District staff and board of directors are looking at updating the water master plan to ensure adequate facilities are in place for new growth and that new construction pays for the facilities needed.

The existing master plan for the PUD’s water system is five years old, and since 1995, significant new development has occurred.

At last week’s board meeting, a workshop addressed the drafted water master plan update.

The basis for the study include:

— Land use as defined in the Town of Truckee General Plan

— For developed parcels, actual development is used

— For undeveloped parcels, the study assumes the highest allowable density per general plan

— Existing conditions as of Jan. 1, 2000

District staff looked at current commercial and residential water demand, and what that demand would be with complete build-out in Truckee.

PUD water projects that need upgrades, improvements or replacements were discussed, as were costs and phasing.

Costs of some improvements will be incurred by the district, others by developers and some pipeline projects will be incurred jointly between the district and the developer. The total costs amount to $86,851,200 through the year 2020; $42,992,040 by developers and $43,859,160 by the district in the proposed plan.

Staff recommended a detailed rate study be performed for the following reasons:

— The Zone Charge component of the rate structure (both residential and metered) is intended to recover the costs of pumping water to higher elevations. The cost of electricity has undergone significant fluctuation since this rate structure was developed and it should be reexamined to ensure that the electricity costs are being allocated equitably across pressure zones.

–The existing commodity charge that is a component of the metered rate structure is based on a declining block rate. As more water is used by customers, it is necessary to utilize less efficient sources and the cost to produce a given volume of water actually increases.

Members of the Contractor’s Association of Tahoe-Truckee (CATT) were at last week’s meeting, and are expressing concern over a nearly 200 percent increase in fees.

CATT President Mitch Clarin said the TDPUD board seemed open to discussing the plans with CATT members before any decisions were made.

A story detailing the water master plan update and its impacts on the community will be in next week’s Sierra Sun.


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