PCWA Looks at West County Water Needs
AUBURN -- Amid signs of renewed interest in major land development projects in unincorporated western Placer County, the Placer County Water Agency is updating its water supply master planning efforts for that vast, undeveloped part of the county.
The PCWA Board of Directors on Thursday (Jan. 17) reviewed county General Plan land use designations for areas including Placer Vineyards, Riolo Vineyards, the Regional University site, Placer Ranch and surrounding areas.
The area, bordered on the south by Sacramento County and on the west by Sutter County, has long been seen as a future growth area but lacks the needed utility infrastructure for treated surface water supply, wastewater collection, roads and other services.
PCWA Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch said the agency is preparing to meet with the County of Placer Board of Supervisors to brief them on necessary infrastructure and costs associated with serving the area with treated surface water.
PCWA Director of Technical Services Brian Martin said eventual, long-term build out of the area would require greatly boosting the agency's water treatment and delivery capacity charges. He said it also opened up additional options for regional opportunities to serve the area with treated surface water.
PCWA uses a Water Connection Charge (WCC) that is collected on a per unit basis to pay for the addition of water system infrastructure to serve new development. The current WCC is $16,444 for a standard 5/8-inch meter connection. Officials said the charge for a new water treatment plant, tanks and pipelines would increase the WCC to reflect the actual costs to meet and serve projected future new water demands in western Placer County. Martin said the numbers used in the presentation are based on preliminary estimates and would be refined as more details become known as to actual intended growth and location of new projects.
In other business, PCWA directors:
- heard an announcement that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rolled back its land use fee increases. PCWA has actively opposed the new fees which had greatly increased the agency's use of federal forest lands for the Middle Fork American River Project. Agency officials said they expect the FERC fees to be reduced back to near the earlier level.
- held a tribute for the late Placer County community leader Paul J. Lunardi, who died Jan. 11 at age 91. Mr. Lunardi, at age 32, served as Roseville's youngest mayor before going on to serve for eight years (1958-66) in the California State Assembly and State Senate. He was credited with carrying important legislation that allowed PCWA to move forward to construct the Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project in 1963-67.
The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn. PCWA board meetings are open to the public.
Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030. PCWA information is also posted at www.pcwa.net.
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