On Thursday evening, several of us attended our first South Truckee Meadows / Washoe Valley Citizen’s Advisory Board (CAB) meeting. The item that had received our attention was the TMWA Mt. Rose Fan Water Treatment Plant. The purpose of this ‘plant’ is to provide treated stream water into the aquifer under the Mount Rose ‘fan.’ Water levels for some private wells have dropped forty (40) feet and private well owners need some relief. This effort is complicated by the large number of earth faults in this area.
The meeting was called to order promptly at 6:00 PM. The meeting is conducted under very specific rules and guidance, furnished as part of the agenda. Following the Pledge of Allegiance was public comment on any subject for 3 miutes per speaker. This period is open forum about topics both on and off the agenda. That was followed by approval of the night’s agenda and minutes from the 10 December CAB meeting. Following that was a topic for ‘Public Official Reports.’ Bob Lucey, the County Commissioner for our area, was unavailable. So, Sarah Tone, Office of the County Manager, Constituent Services, announced that Mr. Lucey is the new Vice Chair of the County commissioners (his term extends to 2019).
That presentation was followed by Fire Chief Charles Moore who then spoke about a need to modify the franchise agreement between REMSA and Washoe County. It turns out that the Southern, and rural, portions of Washoe County are poorly covered by REMSA. It can take up to an hour for an ambulance to show up in Washoe Valley. Whereas the Fire Department is just minutes away with appropriate care and transportation. He requested the audience, there were about 70 people present, contact the commissioners and assist in getting the franchise agreement modified. On a slightly different topic, he stated that our fire response rating, which effects our homeowners policies, had recently been upgraded from a ISO category 5 to a category 3. So, renewals should reflect this improvement in fire coverage, lowering premiums. If you do not have category 3 represented on your home fire insurance policy, if your agent can’t find the upgraded information, contact Chief Moore (at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-328-6123) to obtain a letter. This update was followed by Development Projects.
The primary project on the agenda was the development project for TMWA Mt. Rose Water Treatment Plant. TMWA did an excellent job of presenting their plan. It involves extracting 1 to 4 million gallons from White’s and Thomas Creeks, processing the water and pumping it into the aquifer during the spring and early summer, depending on flow rates. A new bridge will be constructed for Callahan road over White’s creek and one of the extraction points will be beneath the bridge. One of the major factors governing how much water can be extracted, are the water rights owned by people below the extraction points. The Truckee River Water Master will be monitoring the plant activities to ensure those rights are sustained. There was a lot of community input on this topic, both from well owners and from home owners. Well owners were concerned about how soon they can get water back to a reasonable level without drilling. The property/ homeowners were interested in the potential for increased traffic and structural appearance of the processing facility. It turns out that there are over 900 approved housing units yet to be built on ‘The Fan’ as water is running in short supply. The CAB voted to recommend the plans for the plant to proceed forward.
There were three additional topics of discussion. One for a new Cell Phone tower up towards Mt. Rose (no help for ArrowCreek cells), one for a planning use variance (this would allow a contractor to perform periodic integration of a large product on his existing property), and then a discussion of a plan by a homeowner to install an 18 foot high waterfall grotto on a 4′ birm in his back yard.
The meeting was orderly, professional and provided a different view of the broader community in which we reside.
Hope you enjoy the information,
The entire TMWA SUP application may be reviewed by clicking here.
Ron, I just ran across this website and have a few comments. Not sure where the information that some private wells have dropped 40 feet. My well, just south of Thomas Creek and the ArrowCreek neighborhood, has dropped 150 feet due to irresponsible county large well pumping and it is typical of many wells. I hope the 40 feet number did not come from the county, but I can guess that it did. [Webmaster note: It was stated so in the TMWA report given that night.]
My main concern at this point is the impact of what the county is calling the Washoe County Public Lands bill. They plan on selling 73,000 acres of public land to developers. The growth due to t his proposed public land sale eclipses and obliterates any previous growth estimate. We clearly don’t have the water and if this proposed bill passes it will likely end up creating long term water rationing. Not to mention Gridlock and other urban woes spreading throughout the Truckee Meadows.
The county is now working only with special interest groups to finalize the text of the bill. They are evidently accepting but not soliciting input from the general public. This proposed bill is by far the most important piece of legislation in Washoe County history and we need to study this bill and its huge capacity for irreversible negative consequences. We can come to our own individual conclusions and let the county know what we think. Now, not later, since they are accepting but not actively soliciting input and we need to provide input before the bill is in final form. We need growth but we do not need to turn the Truckee Meadows into another San Jose.
I thought your summary of the STMWVCAB meeting was good. I regret I was unable to attend and I appreciate your report.
I think the most important point you made was: ‘there are over 900 approved housing units yet to be built on ‘The Fan’ as water is running in short supply.’
You’re welcome as is anyone else who found the data informative.
There is one additional nuance to the information, the 900 approved homes does NOT include, per TMWA, the 100 or so ArrowCreek authorized lots that have yet to be built out. So, the total number ‘on the fan’ is actually on the order of 1,000.
Thank you for the comment.