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Martis Valley Water Service Transfer Planned

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Placer County -- Water utility service in Martis Valley near Truckee would be transferred to the Northstar Community Services District under a plan discussed Thursday (Oct. 3) by the Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors.

 The proposed transfer was reviewed as part of the PCWA board's annual eastern Placer County meeting, which was held at the Squaw Valley Public Service District office.  PCWA is a countywide water resource agency that is headquartered and normally meets in Auburn.

 PCWA operates groundwater wells to serve about 1000 water customers in the Lahontan, Martis Camp and Schaffer's Mill communities in Martis Valley.  The area is known as Zone 4 and is one of five service zones operated by PCWA.  The other four are in western Placer County.

 Brian Martin, PCWA Director of Technical Services, said that Northstar CSD, which already provides daily operation of the Zone 4 system under contract with PCWA, is better positioned to own and operate the system.
 Northstar CSD General Manager Mike Staudenmayer said his district, located next to the service area, could provide efficient water service and benefit through increased numbers of customers. 

 Martin said the transfer has been under discussion over the past two years and could become effective by mid-2014. He said the transfer must first be approved by the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission.

 "PCWA has no debt on the Zone 4 water system, as the facilities were paid for and installed by developers of the properties," Martin said.  "We'll continue to work with Northstar and support them during the transition."

 In other eastern Placer County business, PCWA directors heard an update on the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) and briefings from local Tahoe/Truckee area water purveyors: 

  • PCWA legal adviser Elizabeth Leeper said the TROA, signed in 2008, has yet to take effect and is now under federal court review.  The agreement documents available water supplies and is intended to govern water use in California and Nevada.
  • Mike Geary, general manager of the Squaw Valley Public Service District, briefed the board on proposed development in the valley and the district's efforts to meet water supply and other utility needs.
  • Cindy Gustafson, general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District, reported on her district's ongoing efforts to unify the many small public and private water purveyors that line the west shore.  She said there are 23 independent water purveyors within the district's 52-square-mile boundary.
  • Steven Poncelet, public information and conservation manager for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District, provided an update on the district's water and electricity services and thanked PCWA for its support and participation with the district and Northstar Community Service District in completing the Martis Valley Groundwater Management Plan.

 The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, 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.

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