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Auburn, Calif. – At the June 15 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board unanimously approved a resolution that sets July 20, 2017, as the public hearing date for the formation of a new service zone. Service zones establish the land boundaries associated with the maintenance and operation of water services to residents within the zone; PCWA currently administers four zones.

As proposed, Zone 6, would overlay PCWA’s current zones and some surrounding areas in western Placer County. Consideration of a new service zone stems, in part, from a key preliminary finding of an independent rate study commissioned by PCWA over a year ago. The study found that PCWA’s western water system, which includes all four of PCWA’s zones, is actually operated and maintained as one integrated system, as opposed to separate systems.

“Each of the four zones PCWA administers were formed at different times of the Agency’s history on an as-needed basis,” General Manager Einar Maish said. “The formation of Zone 6 would better reflect the integrated nature of our water systems, and allow for the consolidation of administration and accounting practices under a single set of rules and regulations.”

A uniform administrative structure for all lands served by PCWA provides other benefits. In light of a 2015 court ruling that tiered water rates cannot exceed the cost of servicing the water to customers (Capistrano Taxpayers Association, Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano), the formation of Zone 6 will establish the baseline needed for a rigorous rate analysis capable of withstanding legal challenge. Additionally, the new zone will eliminate the need to conduct costly and time-consuming annexations on a piecemeal basis as the Agency’s water system expands to cover lands not previously served.

District 2 Director, Primo Santini, remarked that a new zone aligns Agency operations with the Agency’s purpose. “This proposed formation is really about making sure PCWA’s form follows its function,” Santini said. “It represents the next logical step in PCWA’s evolution as the primary water resource agency for Placer County.”

Should the PCWA Board of Directors approve the proposed zone formation, there will be no immediate changes for customers. The Board must adopt new rules and regulations for the new zone before any changes take effect.

More information about the proposed formation of Zone 6, and hearing details, will be available at www.pcwa.net in the coming weeks.

PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

For information on PCWA board meetings, please contact the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

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