North Valley plant $2.7 million short |

North Valley plant $2.7 million short

The failure of an economic development grant to come through contributed to a $2.7 million shortfall in construction of the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

County officials hoped that the commitment to bring 170 additional jobs to the North Valley would be sufficient to receive a $1.7 million Economic Development Administration grant.

However, according to a memorandum prepared by engineer Nicholas Charles the plant was not selected for the grant.

As of the beginning of the month, design work on the plant is about a third completed.

That review shows the plant will be $2.685 million short, an increase of $2 million over the shortfall shown at the 10 percent design review.

Most of that is construction, according to Charles, with the cost rising from $4.7 million when the project was first approved to $6.7 million.

Charles said that a labor shortage in Western Nevada is contributing to the increased costs.

“Large regional projects like Tesla are stretching construction resources in Northern Nevada,” he said.

Also several features that were not included in earlier estimates have been added to the project.

Those include two pump stations required to operate the plant and a third basin system which other plant operators advised would be a good idea.

Charles is recommending increasing the amount of redevelopment money dedicated to the project. The county’s redevelopment agency has already dedicated $2 million for the plant.

“It is possible, but unlikely given the current construction market, that the 30-percent design estimate is significantly high,” Charles said describing whether doing nothing was an option. “The project could be bid and potential budget deficiencies be addressed after bids are received.”

There is enough money in the redevelopment fund to cover the cost of the plant.

“This option does have the potential to reduce the debt required to complete the project if bids come in below the current estimate.”

County commissioners approved contracts with two engineering firms to conduct work on the plant in March.

A construction contract is scheduled to go to commissioners in August 2017, with construction beginning in October 2017. Under that timetable, plant start-up could be October 2018, with the plant fully operational by December 2018.

Using redevelopment money to finish the plan would not affect customers’ rates.

The plant was originally built to treat 125,000 gallons a day in 1988 to serve the industrial areas around Minden-Tahoe Airport. Sewer ponds and the plant were the subject of $1 million in work in 2007.

Under its license with the state, a plan must be in place to expand the plant when it reaches 85 percent capacity.

Its current capacity is 300,000 gallons per day, and it is treating 250,000 gallons per day, or 83 percent.

The plan serves residents in northern Carson Valley and Genoa.

Most Minden and Gardnerville residents are served by the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District, whose plant is located in Minden.