Dougas water rate consolidation hearing Thursday |

Dougas water rate consolidation hearing Thursday

Tribune News Service

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – A consolidation of Douglas County’s water systems will be before county commissioners 4 p.m. Thursday at their regular meeting in Stateline.

Douglas County operates eight different water companies located in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe, that serve 3,537 homes.

Residents of the largest company, the East Valley, have been most vocal in their opposition to consolidation, saying it requires that they pay higher rates to subsidize the other water systems.

That’s true according to county estimates, which say East Valley customers with the smallest meter sizes who use 17,700 gallons a month would pay $66 a month if the county left the water systems alone.

“No matter what the numbers are, east Valley and west Valley bear the brunt,” said Stuart Posselt said at the June 3 meeting in Minden.

He said if the county goes through with the consolidation, an advisory board needs to be appointed to monitor the process which he called “ill-advised” and “premature.”

According to the county, east Valley residents would have to pay $91 a month in 2014 should consolidation be approved.

However, the 55 residential customers living in Job’s Peak Ranch would pay $579 a month.

Support for consolidation tends to increase among the 1,097 residential customers at Lake Tahoe where rates for Cave Rock residents would rise from $181 to $303 a month without it. Under the proposal before commissioners on Thursday, Tahoe residents would have to pay for the installation of meters. Their average rates would be $108 a month by 2014.

Part time Marla Bay resident Barbara Boucke wrote a letter to the county saying that while she was not happy about the rate increases, she was pleased the county as considering consolidation.

“That is the only way to conserve water and fairly spread the cost of water delivery among water users,” she said.

In the middle are the 331 residential customers of the West Valley who’s average rates in 2014 would be $91 with consolidation, $7 more than would be true if the system was left to itself. Under the new system, Jobs Peak residents would end up paying $192 a month, the highest rate in the system.

In addition to rate increases for county water users, the owners of 733 lots whose property fronts on county water lines would see an increase from $9.21 to $10.32 a month.

Should commissioners approve consolidation at Thursday’s meeting, implementation would take place July 1.

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