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 email@example.com 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.
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The entire TMWA SUP application may be reviewed by clicking here.