NID, GV to discuss takeover of water |

NID, GV to discuss takeover of water

When Grass Valley residents turn on the faucet in the future, drinking water will come out, same as always.

But when the bill comes due, city residents may someday send their checks to Nevada Irrigation District.

That’s because the city might transfer its 2,250-customer water system to NID.

The City Council and NID directors will decide next week whether to seek a consultant to do a roughly $45,000 study to analyze the proposed water system transfer.

Officials on both sides are bullish about the idea.

“I think it’d be a good win-win for everybody,” said NID General Manager Jim Chatigny.

Grass Valley Mayor Linda Stevens said, “I think it’s a good idea. Anything to get the bills down for the constituents, for the people who live in Grass Valley.”

NID charges less for treated water than does the city.

A typical household using 500 gallons a day would pay $30.70 every month to NID, compared to $32.70 for city water.

One reason the city charges more: It has to cover the cost of purchasing ditch water from NID to feed the city treatment plant, City Manager Gene Haroldsen wrote this week in a memorandum to the council.

NID charges the city roughly $125 per acre foot of ditch water – about 10 times what it charges other large customers such as Lake Wildwood, which uses ditch water on its golf course and to fill its namesake reservoir. An acre foot covers one square acre with 1 foot of water.

NID officials justify the higher municipal rate by saying the city’s ditch water supply is guaranteed during droughts.

The proposal presents a multitude of issues to consider, Haroldsen’s memo says, including the effect on personnel.

If NID takes over, Chatigny said NID could hire city water system employees.

Grass Valley Vice Mayor Patti Ingram said she doesn’t know whether she will support NID’s takeover of the city’s water system.

“I need to see what the consultant has to say and what NID has to offer,” she said.

The city’s water treatment plant serves the southern two-thirds of the city; NID already serves residents in the northern third of Grass Valley.

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