Dianna Suarez: Rate increases and Centennial Dam
NID management has budgeted $16 million dollars to date, to dam Bear River; without a project, without a permit, and without any approvals.
They have been buying property in Bear River Canyon that is nowhere near any of their existing facilities. They have spent additional tens of thousands of dollars both maintaining and demolishing these properties. Is NID trying to become a landlord and a real estate empire?
NID management has used this massive property acquisition campaign to pre-empt the authority of the Placer and Nevada County planning departments by using public money to seize property and initiate destruction of the beautiful Bear River Canyon without a vote of the people. NID is attempting an end run around the planning process to convert rural agricultural zoning into complete devastation by using millions of your taxpayer dollars to buy up what they cannot influence through the democratic process.
Placer County’s Bear River Park was unsuccessful in obtaining a grant from Sierra Nevada Conservancy earlier this year for shaded fuel break construction at Bear River Campground. Placer County did receive funding from the same program for fuels work associated with the Middle Fork Project. The only difference is the threat of NID’s Bear River Dam. Inundation of Bear River Canyon would remove alternate escape routes for hundreds of homes in our area by cutting off, blocking, and inundating roads. This horrible interference in our community fire safety planning will greatly increase the threat of catastrophic wildfire and deaths when residents are left with only one way out.
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This poorly conceived and hastily promoted, billion-dollar boondoggle is an outrage and a huge waste of money. It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows and it doesn’t take a financial wizard to see the connection between this $16 million dollar violation of the public trust and the next round of rate hikes.
And it won’t end there; the bleeding of public money has only just begun. Centennial Dam is a huge expenditure that NID and its customers cannot afford and it must be discarded immediately.
Dianna Suarez lives in Colfax.
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