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Western Placer water needs back on table as development perks up

By: Journal Staff
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With signs of a potential construction turnaround, the Placer County Water Agency is updating its water supply planning efforts for the possible startup on several major land development projects in western Placer County.

With growth back on the table after a lull since 2008 in construction starts, the agency Board of Directors heard a review last week of county land-use designations for a vast swathe of undeveloped land that takes in the Placer Vineyards, Riolo Vineyards, Regional University and Placer Ranch sites near  Roseville.

The area, bordered on the south by Sacramento County and on the west by Sutter County, has long been seen as a future growth area but in need of infrastructure improvements for treated water, wastewater collection, roads and other services.

Einar Maisch, agency director of strategic affairs, said the agency is preparing to meet with the Placer County Board of Supervisors to brief them on necessary infrastructure and costs associated with serving the area with treated water.

The water agency uses a water-connection charge on new construction to pay for the addition of water-system infrastructure to serve new development.

The current water connection charge is $16,444 for a standard meter hookup. But with anticipated costs for a new water treatment plant, tanks and pipelines to serve the area, agency officials are expecting that figure to rise to reflect actual costs to meet and serve projected future new water demands.

In other board business:

n Agency directors learned that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rolled back land-use fee increases the water provider has been opposing for more than a year. The fee increases are expected to return to levels before the higher fees were proposed, directors were told.