Funding approved for wastewater plant |

Funding approved for wastewater plant

by Amy Alonzo

An additional $2.7 million in redevelopment agency funding is headed to the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to provide funding for an expansion project that is over budget before construction has even begun.

The additional funding is needed because “our original project for this budget was developed in 2015 … These projects are very long projects,” county engineer Nicholas Charles said. “Prices have gone up significantly, and we have seen our cost estimates go up.”

The North Valley plant opened in 1988 to serve the industrial areas around the Minden-Tahoe Airport and was expected to treat about 125,000 gallons per day. The plant serves portions of Genoa and the Johnson Lane area and is at approximately 85-100 percent of its 300,000-gallon capacity.

In 2015 commissioners approved expansion of the plant. A total of $2 million in RDA funding and $5.5 million in state loans were secured for the project.

About 26 percent of the plant’s current capacity is serving those within the redevelopment area, Deputy District Attorney Zach Wadle said.

“The expansion is needed,” he said.

The project is expected to create 72 temporary jobs; generate $1.3 million in annual property taxes and one-time fees; and the expansion of the plant could support up to nearly 300 more businesses in the area that could bring in an additional $49 million in state and local tax revenue, according to documents provided by the county.

The project is expected to go out to bid later this summer, with construction beginning in November. The project will be completed in two phases to maintain operation of the current plant, Charles said.

“Total completion is in 2019, but increased capacity will happen in late 2018,” he said. “Once the new plant is operational, in roughly October of 2018, we can then begin accepting new flow.”

Commissioner Dave Nelson acknowledged that his vote in favor of the project could surprise people.

“As most people know, I’m not very much in favor of RDA agencies,” he said. “However, I would like to see these redevelopment funds used up.”