The Placer County Board of Supervisors took an important step Tuesday in a drive to encourage development in Sheridan by allowing new hookups to the community’s water and sewage systems.
At Tuesday’s meeting, board members voted unanimously to increase connection fees for property owners who hook up to the community’s sewage and water-distribution systems. The fee adjustments are part of the county’s preparations for allowing new connections in Sheridan for the first time in 26 years.
“Sheridan obviously is one of our historic small communities that has a sewer and water system that would not be allowed these days, but a minimal level of new investment out there could have a huge positive impact on the community,” said Chairman Robert M. Weygandt, the board member who represents Sheridan.
Connection fees have not been adjusted since 1981 because of a decision four years later to stop allowing new connections. The decision was prompted by a determination that both the sewer and water systems were at capacity.
Sheridan is a small rural community located alongside Highway 65 in the northwestern corner of the county.
Now, recent sewer upgrades and water-system improvements scheduled to be completed next year have placed Placer County in a position to consider allowing new connections again in Sheridan.
Before authorizing any new connections, though, Placer County intends to canvas the community to determine the demand for new hookups over the next year and the best way to accommodate it.
The sewer upgrades have brought the system into regulatory compliance, made operations more efficient and expanded the capacity enough to accommodate approximately 84 new residential hookups. The improvements included construction of a lined storage pond and expansion of sewer-spray irrigation fields and were funded with a combination of grants, developer fees and General Fund revenue.
In a report to the board, the Facility Services Department emphasized that most property owners who want to develop their properties will need to connect to both the sewer and water systems.
The Sheridan Water Supply and Distribution Project will expand capacity to accommodate at least 84 new residential hookups. In its report, Facility Services said Sheridan’s water system currently can handle between five and10 new connections without affecting water delivery to current customers adversely.
Placer County is increasing connection fees to cover the actual costs of expanding the sewage and water systems.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the board agreed to set the sewer connection fee at $5,549 per equivalent dwelling unit and the water connection fee at $3,717 per equivalent dwelling unit. Both fees were set at $1,700 per equivalent dwelling unit in 1981.
On April 13, the Sheridan Municipal Advisory Council considered the issue, voting to recommend board approval of the proposed connection fee increases.
In its report, Facility Services provided the board with a chart showing that the new fees will be significantly lower than connection fees paid by residents in several other areas of the county.
The Sheridan connection fees will generate revenue to cover future expansions of the sewage and water systems.