Acquisition of a failed Foothill water system serving a gated community will cost Douglas County about $1 million.
Officials are proposing the purchase price of Sierra Country Estates be rolled into a resolution authorizing a $15 million bond that will also pay for system infrastructure needs at the county’s three Lake Tahoe water systems.
On Thursday, county commissioners will discuss adopting a resolution to use bonds to pay for the improvements for the water systems and purchasing Sierra Country Estates.
According to a report prepared by Assistant County Manager Christine Vuletich, approval of the resolution won’t result in the actual issuance of bonds.
“Separate authorization of bond proceedings, including ordinances, will come to the board for adoption at future dates.”
Commissioners will also discuss rates for the customers of the Sierra Country Estates water system starting Dec. 1.
Under an option approved by commissioners on Oct. 3, residents will have a monthly fixed charge of $310.34 a month, with a per 1,000-gallon additional charge.
The rate structure will remain in effect for eight months to repay a temporary loan from the general fund.
The Home Owners Association is trying to install meters at every residential connection under an order issued by the state engineer by Nov. 30.
However, due to a question relating to the qualification of the contractor, the meter project may be delayed past the deadline.
“It is highly likely that the projected revenues may not be fully recovered as contemplated,” Public Works Director Carl Ruschmeyer said. “If this occurs, it may be necessary to amend the proposed rate structure to address any delay.”
In September commissioners approved paying $100,000 to settle the water system’s debts to its engineer and attorney.
That money will also come out of the proposed bond issue.
According to an earlier report, the system has $40,616.54 in accounts receivable and 38.32 acre feet of groundwater, worth $459,840.
County commissioners agreed on Sept. 5 to take control of the water system and attempt to reach an agreement with owners Bill and Marsha Tomerlin. The system is in violation of Nevada Department of Environmental Protection rules, and the State Engineer reports it has exceeded its water rights permit.