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Giant fee boost hits Placer County Water Agency

By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County Water Agency is facing a whopping 207 percent increase on a fee it pays the federal government to use federal land for its Middle Fork American River Project. Water agency board members have asked legal advisor Ed Tiedemann to have a look at the jump from this past year’s $286,740 to $880,493. Power System Manager Steve Jones told board members Thursday that the increase appears to be due to sharply higher appraisal values for the use of federally owned agricultural lands. Most of the agency’s Middle Fork Project is located on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management property. The agency developed the power and water project in the 1960s and pays fees on 3,811 acres of land along the middle fork. Jones added in a report that the increase in fees appears to have been made to reflect current land values and in response to the Energy Policy Act of four years ago. Tiedemann said other power producers in the region are facing similar increases. He’ll report back to the board in coming weeks.