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Auburn, Calif.- Residents of Hidden Valley, a residential community in Granite Bay, will vote on whether their aging private treated water distribution system should be replaced and operated by the Placer County Water Agency.

The PCWA Board of Directors on Thursday (Dec. 20) voted in support of a request by the Hidden Valley Community Association to ask the community’s property owners of their interest to form and fund an improvement district to finance a new treated water distribution system.  Two-thirds support is needed for passage.

The vote is expected early next year.  If successful, district formation and project planning, design, and costs would follow.  Thereafter, a final determination will be made on whether the project proceeds or not in collaboration with the water agency.

Hidden Valley is a residential development of 162 residential parcels that surround a 200-acre common open space.  It is located along Auburn Folsom Road in Granite Bay.  The community operates its own separate raw and treated water distribution systems.  The association purchases both wholesale raw and treated water from PCWA.

PCWA Senior Engineer Tony Firenzi said the association’s treated water distribution system is more than 50 years old and that Hidden Valley community leaders have been planning an upgrade for several years.  He estimated that construction of a modern treated water distribution system to meet today’s drinking water and fire protection needs would cost about $4.4 million.  A not-to-exceed amount of $30,000 per parcel is proposed to ensure adequate funding for the project.  Formation of the improvement district would allow property owners to finance their shares of the new system over a 20-year period.

PCWA has worked with homeowner groups to improve water systems in several areas.  Director of Technical Services Brian Martin said that over the years the agency has helped home owner groups successfully form 15 improvement districts.

In other business, PCWA directors:

  • acknowledged a 1.47 percent increase in the agency’s Water Connection Charge (WCC), effective Jan. 1.  The charge for a standard 5/8-inch meter connection in Zone 1 will increase from $16,206 to $16, 444.  The WCC is tied to the Bay Area construction cost index and is reviewed and adjusted as needed each year.
  • authorized the construction of an additional 1680-foot section of 45-inch raw water transmission line along Ophir Road as part of the current Ophir Road Pipelines Project.  The work will be added to the agency’s existing contract with Ranger Pipelines, Inc. 
  • approved a $500 sponsorship for Leadership Auburn, a program that educates and trains community leaders of the future.  The successful program has graduated more than 250 participants over the past 14 years, said Bruce Cosgrove of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce.
  • approved a $250 sponsorship for the PlacerGROWN Farm Conference on Jan. 26 at Lincoln High School.  Roger Ingram, UC Cooperative Extension director for Nevada and Placer counties, thanked the board for its continued support.
  • approved a $250 sponsorship for the California Irrigation Institute conference on February 4 and 5 in Sacramento.

PCWA board meetings are open to the public.