Cascade Shores a ‘horror story’ for sewer costs |

Cascade Shores a ‘horror story’ for sewer costs

Cascade Shores has become the poster child in Washington, D.C., for small communities facing staggering costs to meet government water quality standards, a congressional aide said Friday.

Taking a step toward addressing such “horror stories,” Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, voted for a bill this week that would put $14 billion into state revolving funds for low-interest loans to such communities, Doolittle spokesman Brian Jensen said.

In addition, Doolittle this week questioned Stephen Johnson, administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, about his knowledge of the problems faced by communities such as Cascade Shores, Jensen said. Doolittle is on the House Appropriations Subcommittee of the Interior, which held the hearings with Johnson earlier in the week.

“The congressman cites Cascade Shores as the horror story example of many communities in our district,” Jensen said. Other towns that face similar problems include Colfax, Placerville, Newcastle and Auburn, he said.

“EPA is aware of the situation. Unfortunately, no one seems to have a solution,” Jensen said. “Congressman Doolittle hopes the bills passed this week can be a step in the right direction for giving tools to these communities.”

Two other bills approved by the House this week would offer assistance to urban areas dealing with sewer overflow problems and money for pilot programs for alternative water sources. Doolittle voted for both of them; all three bills now go to the Senate, Jensen said.

Cascade Shores, the community originally touted as a vacation retreat atop Banner Mountain on the shores of Scotts Flat Lake, now is a year-round suburb of Nevada City. Most houses are on individual septic tanks.

But 83 households are connected to the sewer pipes that feed into the Cascade Shores Wastewater Treatment Plant. Government-mandated upgrades to the plant that would improve the quality of water flowing out of the plant and into local waterways would cost $6.4 million.

To pay for that, residents would have to increase their yearly sewer fees from $1,995 yearly they pay now to $4,500 per year. Residents rejected the rate hike in December.

Nevada County supervisors expect the county will have to pay $50 million to $60 million in coming years to meet government regulations at treatment plants at Cascade Shores, Lake Wildwood and Lake of the Pines.

To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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