Olivehurst Public Utility District General Manager John Tillotson provided board members an update on Thursday on infrastructure projects in the Industrial, Sports and Entertainment Zone for water, sewer and parks.

The project is part of OPUD looking to expand its water and wastewater services to south Yuba County in an effort to drive economic development in the area. The project is estimated to cost $100 million, according to Appeal archives.

Tillotson said when initial planning took place, OPUD, Yuba County and Yuba Water Agency planned for the project to be paid for through local funding only requiring a normal California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. However, it has been determined that the project may not be able to be funded only with local sources and may require state funding. If state funds are required, it would require a different environmental review. Tillotson said changing the CEQA review will cost approximately $35,000 and add months to the process. Despite the change in CEQA process, construction is still expected to begin in the spring pending project funding.

In addition, OPUD’s legal counsel Joan Cox is working with the city of Wheatland on a wastewater agreement. OPUD is also working on acquiring a one acre parcel of land for the wastewater treatment plant site. The one acre parcel has to be appraised before acquisition can be completed and Tillotson said he is gathering quotes from consultants who can conduct the appraisal.

 

In other business:

– The board received information on the work being done to switch to district-based elections. Tillotson said consultants have sent three to four different options for maps and that he would send them to directors shortly. Cox laid out her recommended schedule for conducting public hearings. She suggested public hearings on Jan. 20, Feb. 17, March 5 and March 17. The approved map must be approved at the March 17 meeting or on April 21. OPUD is required to provide the Yuba County Elections Office with its final map and election sequencing by May 12.

– The board approved updating sewer/water permit application fees as well as changes to the construction hydrant/load count meter agreement. The changes were recommended after staff looked at current rates and found they were outdated and needed to be increased or adjusted. Included in the updates were increasing permit application fees from $40 to $100; increasing inspection fees from $100 to $200 for flat rate; and increasing plan review fees from $150 to $250 for flat rate.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.

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