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North Auburn sewer-fee increase fight brewing

By: Journal Staff
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With a $13.78-a-month sewer fee increase in North Auburn set to go to a vote by the Placer County supervisors on Tuesday, opponents are organizing for a possible challenge.

The challenge could come if the increase is adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. It would be based on 17-year-old Proposition 218, which allows voters in the targeted sewer assessment district to use the initiative process to reject an increase, Brooke Crest Homeowners Association president Cecil Price said Tuesday.

Price has organized a meeting on the fee increase that is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Regional Park’s Lakeside Room, 3770 Richardson Drive, in North Auburn.

Price said his opposition to the increase - from the current $82 a month to $95.78 - is representative of many homeowners who live in North Auburn. His association represents 58 homes. The fee hike would affect about 5,000 properties served by Sewer Maintenance District 1.

“Without exception, everyone in our area is upset about the proposed sewer-fee increase,” Price said.

Price said the price is too high and a plan to upgrade the current facility on Joeger Road is a less-costly alternative.

The fee increase would take effect July 1. It’s intended to fund construction and initial operation of a regional sewer project with an estimated base price of $73.8 million that includes a new pump station in North Auburn and about 13 miles of pipeline to send wastewater to an expanded city of Lincoln treatment plant. The district’s North Auburn plant, which has failed to meet state and federal standards, would no longer be used.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the rate increase proposal at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 7. At that time, the board will also consider any written protests from ratepayers. Tuesday’s hearing will take place in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the Placer County Administrative Center, 175 Fulweiler Ave., in Auburn.