Tank placement creates snag for Cement Hill water project
Special to The Union
A community water project to supply treated drinking water to the Cement Hill Road area near Nevada City could be delayed if the Nevada Irrigation District is unable to complete purchase of a storage tank site.
The project has been planned for several years and has started construction, but hit a snag in February when the owners of a 155-acre parcel in the Sugarloaf Mountain area objected to a district plan to purchase a 0.94-acre tank site.
District engineers said the site is at the proper elevation and best suited to supply the project area, but Kriss Halpern, a Southern California-based manager for Sugarloaf Properties LLC, said the same area offers the best views and homesites for future development.
Halpern does not want the tank on his property, but if it must be located there, he asked that it be moved to a northeast corner, NID legal counsel Tony Soares said. That would cost an additional $215,000, NID engineers have calculated.
Soares said meetings and discussions have failed to produce an accord and the matter will likely go to mediation in early May.
Cement Hill resident Norm Stout urged the NID Board of Directors to move forward with the plan to purchase the property. He lauded NID staff for making a “tremendous effort” to acquire the site.
“You have 241 people who are waiting for water,” Stout said.
Directors adopted a resolution of necessity, declaring the property necessary for the public good, and authorizing acquisition of the land through eminent domain if an agreement cannot be negotiated.
In a related matter, directors approved the $53,200 purchase of a permanent easement for a 0.57-acre strip of land from the Cebollero Family Trust. The easement is needed for a main line on the Cement Hill water project.
In other business, directors:
• Approved environmental studies for a replacement and realignment of the Lake Vera Pipeline, an old irrigation water line that is leaking and unable to properly supply customers. The project involves 3800 feet of new 8-inch pipeline and is currently budgeted in 2016 at a cost of $700,000.
• Updated the district’s strategic plan and reviewed the board’s three top planning objectives, which are; 1) proactively expanding water service to new and existing customers within the service territory, 2) improving and developing a management system for asset protection, and 3) maintaining the reliability and efficiency of the water delivery system.
• Declared that surplus water will be available this year within NID’s exterior district boundaries and authorized the sale of surplus water that is available near the bottom of the system to the South Sutter Water District. The district anticipates the annual sale will generate revenues of $300,000 to $400,000.
• Approved a standard agreement with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for the sale of hydroelectricity produced by NID’s small powerhouse at Scotts Flat Reservoir. The contract calls for the 2009 rate of 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour to rise to 13.4 cents over the 10-year life of the contract.
The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. April 14 at the NID Business Center on West Main Street, Grass Valley.
Nevada City resident and free-lance writer Dave Carter contracts with the Nevada Irrigation District.
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