Newcastle Sewer Project underway

Project cost is $6.84 million
By: Chelsea Foster, Special to the Loomis News
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The South Placer Municipal Utility District broke ground Dec. 2 on a project to repair and replace sanitary systems throughout Newcastle. As part of the $6.84 million Newcastle Sewer Project, existing sewer pipes will be repaired, old sewer ponds will be decommissioned and waste will be re-routed to Roseville’s Dry Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant. The project will increase water quality for residents in Newcastle, Loomis, Rocklin and the surrounding regions. The Newcastle Sanitary District will be dissolved and be completely annexed by SPMUD upon completion of the project, which is estimated for late 2011 or early 2012. Charles Clark, SPMUD’s general manager, said this project is a huge step toward environmental health. “The greatest environmental benefit is to the region [as a whole] by removing NSD’s sewer ponds, which can overflow when it rains and get into Red Ravine Creek, which flows into creeks that go through Loomis and Rocklin. Also, by making major repairs to NSD’s existing sewer system and conducting regular maintenance to the sewer pipes, we reduce sewage overflows,” Clark said. Jim Williams, a Loomis resident and president of SPMUD board, was glad to see construction begin. “It’s just exciting what we’ve finally accomplished. A lot of people have worked for a long time on these projects,” Williams said. He also pointed out that the project will benefit the Placer County economy by employing local companies Civil Engineering Construction Inc. of Loomis, and Westcon Construction Corp. of Newcastle for the construction. Newcastle business owners who pay for sewer usage, like Gus Pearson, owner of old Newcastle’s Music Exchange, take the changes in stride. “I’ve been following the project,” Pearson said. “The government has mandated that the sewer systems operate a certain way, and I’m not opposed to it. It had to be done, and I’m glad they’re doing it. We did have a rate increase a couple of years ago, but that’s the way it has to be. It seems like the sewer board is doing a good job of keeping the costs down.” Carol Bean, SPMUD office manager and secretary to the board, said the current sewer service charge is $24 per month, or $72 per quarter, per equivalent dwelling unit. Buildings can have multiple equivalent dwelling units, or EDUs. “The project-related service charge will be $54 per month per EDU. It (the total charge) will be $234 per quarter for those customers,” Bean said. The $5.56 million loan is for a period of 40 years. “If there’s any new development in there, it will help to reduce the length of the loan. New development would have to pay into the project,” Bean said. According to Bean, the quarterly service charge is scheduled to increase to $26 per month on July 1, 2011, but the $54 charge will remain constant. ---------------------- NEWCASTLE SEWER PROJECT Project: Repair existing sewer pipes, decommission old sewer ponds, re-route waste to Dry Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant in Roseville. Project cost: $6.84 million, funded by a $5.56 million loan from South Placer Municipal Utility District and a $1.28 million grant from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. People served: About 200 homes and 25 non-residential customers Fees for Newcastle residents: $72 service fee per EDU per quarter. Additional $162 project-related service charge per EDU per quarter, starting with project completion and continuing for 40 years.