Utility unveils plan for work in summer | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Utility unveils plan for work in summer

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Old water pipe will be replaced this summer along Lake Tahoe Boulevard from the “Y” to the entrance of South Tahoe High School.

The South Tahoe Public Utility District may install the pipe at night to avoid traffic problems but no plans are set, said Dennis Cocking, district spokesman.

Work on the $600,000 project will begin once the city grinds up that section of the boulevard for resurfacing. Sierra Pacific Power also plans to take advantage of the road work so it can bury power lines in the area.

The district last year replaced old water pipes from Reno to Winnemucca avenues. Pipes from Winnemucca to the “Y” are not scheduled to be replaced until 2005.

Water pipe installation aside, the district has devoted a lot of time to planning since the MTBE settlements were finalized in August, Cocking said.

In August, several oil companies decided to settle lawsuits filed by the district for $69 million. The settlements came after a jury found that gasoline containing the fuel additive MTBE had polluted district groundwater.

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The money awarded in the settlement will only be used to fund treatment for MTBE-laced groundwater, Cocking said, but the conclusion of the case has allowed the district to move forward as a whole.

The district is now in the process of crafting a 10-year budget and has assembled a long-range water plan that looks 20 to 30 years into the future. This is the first time the district has tried to create a 10-year budget. Typically there is a new budget every five years.

“Nothing is etched in stone, but it gives us a longer horizon,” Cocking said. “Particularly since a lot of projects sometimes take two to three years.”

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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