County OKs sewer rate increase |

County OKs sewer rate increase

Staff Reports

Agreeing that a rate increase is required to make the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Program pay for itself, Douglas County commissioners approved charging customers $63.33 a month starting July 1.

The plant serves about 1,700 customers in Johnson Lane and Genoa areas of Carson Valley. The current rate is $58.09 a month per equivalent dwelling unit.

Commissioners’ approval on Thursday included no subsidy for the plant, which will become self sufficient for the first time.

Last year, county commissioners approved spending $250,000 to keep the rates from going up to nearly $90 a month.

The plant was expanded in 2007 to deal with growth that disappeared when the economy collapsed.

That and the practice of using connection fees to support the plant instead of putting them aside to pay for expansion, left remaining customers holding the bag for paying the debt.

Under the option approved by commissioners on Thursday, the rate will increase to $63.96 on July 1, 2014.

The rates anticipate about 15 connections a year, which is far less than when the economy was going full tilt.

At the new rates, the plant fund will build up capital reserves of $2.62 million by fiscal year 2014.

Carl Ruschmeyer said the plant’s debt will begin to decrease in 2017 and will be paid off in 2025.