NEVADA COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT NO. 1
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED INCREASE IN SEWER SERVICE CHARGES
Notice is given that the Board of Directors of Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1 will conduct a Regular Meeting and Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 22 at 1:30 p.m. The location of the meeting is: Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave, Nevada City, CA . The meeting can be viewed live through the web at: www.mynevadacounty.com/boardmeetings . Click here to view the entire notice mailed to all affected properties: Public Hearing Notice. For additional questions, please email: NCSDRates@co.nevada.ca.us
Why are increases in Sewer Service Charges being Proposed?
Our goal at the Nevada County Sanitation District No.1 (District) is to provide safe, reliable sewer (wastewater) service to our customers. The District provides wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal service to 10 active zones in unincorporated Nevada County and serves approximately 5,600 residential dwelling units and 15 commercial properties. Also, the District maintains pipeline and systems for 700 residential and 3 commercial properties which are within the active zones but have yet to connect to the system. These customers pay an annual Sewer Standby charge in order to eventually connect to the system. To continue to meet our goal as well as address increased costs in materials, fuel, equipment, insurance and construction coupled with the need for ongoing improvements to infrastructure, the District proposes Sewer Service Charge changes over the next five fiscal years (FY, 2021-1025) . Proposed Sewer Service Charge charges will become effective July 1 of each year starting July 1, 2021
Building Efficiency: Consolidation of Existing District Zones
The District will be consolidating five existing zones into two zones beginning in FY 2021-22. The consolidated zones are within close proximity to one another and allow for shared use of sewer facilities. Combining maintenance and administrative expenses will reduce the District’s wastewater operations costs. Lake Wildwood, Penn Valley, and Valley Oak Court service areas will be consolidated into one zone. Lake of the Pines and Higgins Village service areas will be consolidated into a second zone. In each case, all customers within a consolidated zone will see their Sewer Service Charges transition to equal Sewer Service Charges by FY 2023-24 for sewer maintenance and operation service charges and for capital and acquisition service charges.
Purpose of Sewer Service Charges
Sewer Service Charges cover the District’s costs to provide wastewater maintenance and operation. Sewer Service Charges should also allow updates or rehabilitation to existing wastewater infrastructure, payments on existing debt, and provide sufficient funding to pay for the cost of operation; of which, operating costs are projected to increase at a rate equal to or less than inflation.
With the proposed Sewer Service Charges over the next five years, the District will continue to provide safe, reliable wastewater service. Meanwhile, Sewer Service Charges must continue to pay previous debt issued to fund large capital improvements in various zones. Once the existing debt is paid off, the funds currently allocated to debt will be used to fund necessary capital projects. In addition, the District must build a six-month operating reserve in each zone to pay operating costs and cover the delay in receiving revenues bi-annually via the tax roll. Lastly, the District has set a target of generating enough capital reserves to cover the $341,000/year for capital improvement program amount between FY 2021-22 through FY 2025-26. The proposed changes to the District’s Sewer Service Charges will meet the funding requirements of operations, debt, capital, and reserves.
Proposed Sewer Service Charges
A Wastewater Fee Study For All Zones, completed by the District’s consultant, HF&H Consultants (HF&H), found some of the zones’ Sewer Service Charges need to increase, one will remain the same, and one needs to decrease. These changes reflect the projected costs of service and cover operating and capital expenses during the next five fiscal years, FY 2021-22 through FY 2025-26. The cost-of-service analysis was completed in April 2021 to ensure each zone’s share of the District’s costs were accurate. A copy of the study is available online at MyNevadaCounty.com/NCSDRates and is on file with the County Clerk, located at 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, CA 95959.
Within each zone, the charge billed per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU – a standard measure for wastewater quantity) was aligned with the costs to maintain and operate the system, pay the debt, and provide for adequate funds to pay the bills and fund necessary capital improvement projects.