We cannot currently provide any assurance that new connections will be available within any specific time frame; therefore, no date has yet been established for taking applications for new connections. Our focus now is to line up funding and consultant contracts to ensure that the capital projects that are expected to provide new capacity can move forward as planned. It is unlikely that we could consider accepting applications before January of 2010. We will notify the community of progress towards this goal at future meetings of the Municipal Advisory Council.
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The solution that we have already embarked upon involves upgrading the current pond and spray field system that comprises the Sheridan Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The estimated cost of completing this project is $2.3 million. Funding for this project has been obtained through a combination of grants, Cemex Development Agreement funds, and contributions from the County General Fund. Operating costs for the current WWTP are relatively low compared to the mechanical treatment systems in Wheatland or Lincoln.
Abandoning the Sheridan WWTP and pumping wastewater to a proposed new treatment plant serving Wheatland would cost $7 million, based on preliminary estimates. This option is under consideration as a potential long-term solution but is not currently feasible or cost effective.
Abandoning the Sheridan WWTP and pumping wastewater to Lincoln has also been discussed and considered. This project would likely be more expensive than the Wheatland option because the distance to the Lincoln plant is much further (3.6 miles to Wheatland, 10 miles to Lincoln).
Destroyed or disconnected wells include:
Old Well 2 (Existing Fire Well) which was drilled in 1970 to allow for the abandonment of private wells and the septic systems that were contaminating them. Old Well 2 was disconnected from the system in 1982 because it did not comply with the 1981 California public water well standards.
Old School Well (Well 3) originally served the school site. The school allowed the County to connect this well to the public water system. Old School Well was decommissioned in 1982 because it did not comply with the 1981 California public water well standards.
Connected and Active Existing (E) Wells include:
Well 1 (School Well) - Well 1 was drilled in 1970 in order to allow abandonment of private wells and the septic systems that were contaminating them. Well 1 was paid for by FHA grant and loan, currently produces approximately 320 gallons per minute (GPM) and has backup power.
Well 2 located on Ranch House Road was drilled in 1982 to allow for the abandonment of an older well, Currently, Well 2 produces approximately 150gpm and does not have backup power.
Proposed Well 3 scheduled to be drilled and ready in spring 2011. Well 3 is required to comply with the maximum day water demand requirements established by the California Waterworks Standards of March 2008.
It is too early to predict what connection fees the Board of Supervisors might establish if new connections become available for sewer and water services in Sheridan. The existing approved connection fees per Equivalent Dwelling Unit for Sheridan are $1,700 for sewer and $1,500 for water. Because of the ongoing moratorium on new connections, these fees have not been adjusted since 1985. Staff will recommend re-evaluating these fees utilizing a methodology that takes into consideration the value of previous investments that will benefit new users divided by the number of potential new users.
Sewer connection fees in other local districts typically range between $6,000-$9,000 per connection. The Placer County Water Agency charges $15,000 for a standard water service connection. Costs for the Sheridan County Service Area may be more or less depending on capital costs and the level of grant funding for the sewer and water projects.
The proposed new fees are projected to balance the Sheridan CSA budget in three years with 25 new connections.
Any connections beyond 25 will help reduce the need for future fee increases. The two proposed capital projects are projected to create capacity for 70 new connections.