In an effort to build a regional sewage system that connects Wheatland to Olivehurst Utility District facilities to facilitate continued growth in southern Yuba County, the agency’s board of Yuba Water unanimously approved additional loans worth millions for both entities.
Approved loans could lead to nearly $100 million in state grants to help the massive enterprise.
Yuba Water Agency deputy chief executive Terri Daly said the project really started “decades ago” when county leaders realized the general plan for Yuba County would not be. never realized until proper water and sanitation infrastructure was in place for the southern part of the county.
“Time and time again there have been efforts to get something done and we’ve never really been able to get anything done,” Daly said Tuesday. “Up until the end of 2019, we had a meeting with manager (Brent) Hastey and manager (Doug) Lofton, at the time, and we were talking about the importance of this infrastructure. And director Hastey and Lofton made it clear that “we have to make sure it gets done.” And so, here we are.
Daly said “doing it” means having a regional wastewater system in the southern county that will eventually be a system that serves Wheatland, Olivehurst (Olivehurst Public Utilities District) and Linda County Water District.
“Of course, Linda County Water serves Marysville, so it’s probably going to take about 25 years to actually have this whole regional system,” Daly said. “But we are starting with the first phase of this system, which is Wheatland connected to OPUD (Olivehurst Public Utilities District).
Daly said the first phase of the project began “in earnest” in 2020 when the Yuba Water Agency board “awarded $7.3 million to Wheatland” and OPUD. Half of the money was “on loan” and the other half was “in grant” to design and engineer their parts of the regional wastewater system. According to a staff report, the total allocated by Yuba Water to this project in grants and loans is now $7,306,473.
“Since then, Wheatland and OPUD have worked to develop their systems,” Daly said.
According to Daly, the design and engineering phase has been completed “individually for Wheatland and OPUD”.
While seeking money from the state to help fund the project, Yuba Water hired a consultant to work with the state on a grant and set up “one unified application” for Wheatland and OPUD . Daly said additional funds have been identified at the state level due to a “new program” designed to serve regional projects in underprivileged communities.
Daly said the project has three parts: the connection between Wheatland and OPUD, and a sewage and water line that runs down Forty Mile Road.
“We’re still working with the state, and it looks like they’re going way over $10 million,” Daly said. “This project now appears to be approaching $100 million and the state has not budged yet. So they say, “Yes, we think you might be eligible for everything.”
On Tuesday, the board approved an additional $2 million in loan funding for Wheatland to complete all the necessary steps for the state grant application and an additional $1,050,000 for OPUD. to cover the costs of his current application to the state.
“In addition, we are awaiting information from the state on whether the proposed upgrades to OPUD’s wastewater treatment facilities could be covered by the grant, a step that was planned as part of the next phase of this project. project,” said Yuba Water. says the staff report. “If these capital improvements can be included in this grant application, then OPUD is requesting an additional $500,000 for the design of these improvements.”
Wheatland Town Manager Jim Goodwin on Tuesday thanked the board for the continued efforts to make a regional sewer system a reality.
“It started as racing as fast as it could be, designing as fast as it could be, a place at the front of the line for whatever money might be there. It took a lot of courage and vision to embark on this path, not knowing if we would get to where we wanted to be,” said Goodwin. “…We are actually in that place we hoped to be. There was money that historically was not available. We have the state’s interest in our project and a very strong opportunity to successfully secure over $100 million to create this regional infrastructure in southern Yuba County. Thank you for the investment you have made, the commitment the council has made to reinvest in the county, keeping that commitment is appreciated by those of us who work hard to deliver projects.
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