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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 24, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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February 24, 2010

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8A Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 Feather River Bulletin Joshua Sebold Staff Writer The Quincy Community Service District board direct- ed manager Larry Sullivan at a Thursday, Feb. 11, meeting to come up with a policy for future development within the Quincy area that would give landowners an idea of how issues with the treat- ment plant would affect their ability to hook up to the sewer system in the future. The issue came to the fore- front at a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20, of the American Valley Community Services Authority, an organization based on a joint powers agreement between the QCSD and East Quincy Service District boards. At that meeting Sullivan explained a cease and desist order issued by the Califor- nia Regional Water Quality Control Board to QCSD dated Wednesday, Jan. 13, along with the district's new per- mit for discharging waste- water. The agenda item essen- tially consisted of the QCSD board and manager explain- ing the issue to the EQSD board and manager. Sullivan said the order didn't actually force the dis- trict to stop discharging, but was one of the steps in en- couraging it to work towards removing more copper from the water that exits the plant. He added that for now the district just had to keep work- ing to improve its system. The manager told the EQSD board his district was building a direct discharge point into Spanish Creek with a diffuser, which would allow the district to convince the regional water board to give QCSD a dilution credit. Dilution credits allow a district to treat wastewater less because the water com- ing~out of the plant will be diluted into moving water and spread out into less worrisome amounts. The district currently dis- charges into Clearstream Creek, what QCSD board member Denny Churchill described as a drainage ditch,' which was labeled as "waters of the U.S.," to the amuse- ment and dismay of the QCSD board. Essentially this means that the U.S. government con- siders Churchill's ditch to be a natural resource or a useful body of water when it comes to commerce. The QCSD board is rela- tively unanimous in its belief that such a designation is nothing short of insanity. In any case, this designa- tion means the district can't currently get any dilution credits because Clearstream Creek does not have a signifi- cant level of water flow--no measurable dilution occurs until the wastewater runs down the ditch into Spanish Creek. That is too late accord- ing to the regional water board, while discharging directly into Spanish Creek will meet the criteria. Sullivan also pointed out that the district constructed wetlands for additional treat- ment of the water before it was discharged. Churchill explained the standards for aquatic life forms in terms of discharging into a stream were higher than those for drinking water. The level of copper that is considered safe for humans to drink cannot be discharged into a creek be- cause of fears it will harm smaller life forms. In short, the standards for wastewater treatment are really high. The director explained the current plant wasn't de- signed to remove copper, ammonia or lead, all of which are now included in the new discharge permit. Churchill informed the East Quincy board the treat- ment plant was basically at full capacity when it came to its ability to handle those three pollutants. He told the other members of the AVCSA there was hope the new discharge system would combine with the wet- lands to put the plant in com- pliance in the short run, but his feeling was the regulators would want the water to meet the standards before being discharged in the long run. "This is all up in the wind right now. This plant is well beyond its design capacity and its lifespan." "It was not designed to go this long and it's only because of excellent mainte- nance and everything else and things that kept on the up and up that's kept this plant moving." He concluded, "The short term is shooting for the dilu- tion credits and getting the direct discharge. The long term is going to be hard rock structures. There's no getting around it. We're gonna have to pour some concrete and spend some dough." "About the same time they build a new hospital," fellow QCSD director Dick Castaldini quipped. "Probably," Churchill agreed with a chuckle. Selling DUEs? This discussion at the AVCSA meeting prompted the East Quincy board to reopen an earlier debate about allowing landowners to sell dwelling unit equiva- lents, which are a standard measurement for the amount of water fixtures (showers, toilets, faucets) a property can hook up to the sewage system. The theory behind letting people sell DUEs on their property is that someone who was assessed eight of them because of the size and zoning of the land, but didn't plan to build enough struc- tures to use them all could sell them to someone who needs more. In the short term this could possibly optimize the amount of development in an area, but EQSD's engineer, Dan Bastian, argued at the Tues- day, Feb. 9, meeting that the idea was "potentially disastrous." He said the district originally allocated DUEs based on county zoning, and allowing people to sell them would devalue the property for future owners and defeat the purpose of the General Plan. After a lively discussion the board agreed not to change the current DUE policy of leaving the units attached to properties. Connection poUcy Churchill, who attended the EQSD meeting, explained the discussion to his fellow QCSD board members at a Thursday, Feb. 18, meeting. Some QCSD board mem- bers had argued in the past that East Quincy should allow its DUEs to be sold, but Churchill told the board he began to see how the issue could become messy. He said he was beginning to think they would have to revisit the idea of allowing additional people to hook up on both sides of Cemetery Hill rather than expecting EQSD to find a way to facili- tate the reallocation of its DUEs. Churchill said the treat- ment plant had capacity for the equivalent of around 300 more families hooking up under the old guidelines, not accounting for the new copper, ammonia and lead regulations. He wasn't sure if the dis- trict should push it from around 83 percent of capacity now to 100 percent capacity. For now the district should let people hook up. "At some point in time somehody's going to walk in here and we're going to say no. That's just how it's going to. shake out, so he who gets through the door first..." Churchill said the board needed to come up with a policy for deciding when to stop accepting new sources of sewage so people could understand the rules. He said the policy had to be "clearly stated to individu- als because if people are looking 'well maybe in five years I might develop your property,' it might not be available and people need to know that." Board members agreed they didn't have enough concrete concerns about the state of the district's ability to meet discharge standards in the short run to stop allowing people to hook up. The board then directed Sullivan to come up with a policy, centered around a first-come first-served philosophy, for the directors to consider at their next meeting. Addressing the long-term picture, QCSD's attorney, Jan Klement, added, "I think what the public also has to understand, that eventually we have to be talking about a new plant. He said an estimate erring on the high side could be $20-25 million. "You're talking about, at 5 percent, a payment for 30 years of about $85-$100 a piece in both districts for each party." LAKESHORE, from page 1A Kim said they plan to bring back the family atmos- phere to Lakeshore as well. "We'll do things like movie nights and campfire nights---that's how I grew up; families camped together," she said. With the recent fire and loss of Bucks Lake Lodge, the prospect of Lakeshore Resort opening is welcome news. "Bucks Lodge was the life jacket of Bucks Lake. That's where you went if you lost your dog, or to get your mail, or see your friends. Hopefully Lakeshore will become that again," said DewitL "It's going to be a lot of work, but the community needs it," he said. "There has been an over- whelming amount of commu- nity support," said Kim. A long time coming Back in October 2007, the Hendersons were one of 10 couples who expressed inter- est in taking over the lease at Lakeshore Resort. When time came for the final invite and walk- through, however, the crowd had dwindled to only three couples. Over the next two months, Kim said the in- terested parities submitted business plans. PG&E made its final decision based on those plans. Currently, facilities avail- able at Bucks Lake include Haskins Valley Inn (283-9667), which offers six vintage- theme rooms, a general store and deli; and-Bucks Lake Marina (283-4243), offering eight cabins, RV campground and two boat docks. The future of Bucks Lake Lodge is unknown, but an outgoing message states it is trying to reopen as soon as possible. Lakeshore's progress may be followed at BucksLake Audubon hosts water program Plumas Audubon Society will meet at the Plumas County Public Library meet-- ing room in Quincy Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. The program will feature a presentation on water, the environment and pubic is- sues by attorney Michael Jackson. The presentation will kick off the Plumas Audubon chapter's spring program on water: where it comes from; where it goes; how it effects the environ- ment; and why we in Plumas County are concerned. Every day there is news of vital water issues ranging from San Joaquin farming to bay, delta and ocean fish- eries. As attorney for the California Sport Fishing Pro- tection Alliance and several other environmental organi- zations, Jackson has been involved in environmental and political disputes over water from the Colorado to the Upper Sacramento rivers. Jackson will explain why residents who live at the top of the Feather River water- shed have vital interests in where the water goes and how it effects the environ- ment, people and business of California. The public is welcome to all Audubon Society programs. AUDIT, from page 1A or what could be called its net worth, should be about 15 percent of the total General Fund revenue. In Plumas County's case, it's 24 percent. "This is becoming more important for lending," he said. The county is also ahead of many other counties in accounting for future retiree benefits. Many counties have not been recognizing these costs on their books, with the result that they do not have the money to fund the benefits they have promised to their retirees. One East Bay county is currently in court over just this kind of situation. Soroptimist I tem ionaf of Portofa FrL, Feb. 26 Sled Dog Vet Check at the Portola City Park 2-5pm Bring the kids and family/ Sat., Feb. 27 Sled Dog Race 8:30am-4pm Chalet View 12pro Teach Your Dog to Pull Snowshoe Fun Run 2K Snowshoe Race Pee Wee Race (coil for more info & times) Meet Mushers Dinner & Music at the Elks Lodge 6pro Mushers Movie Night for the Kids supervised at the Chalet View Lodge Conference Room Sun., Feb. 28 Dog Sled Races 8:30am-3:30pm Scholarship. Program & Event Fundraiser California Gold/Hush Lake Davis Sled Do9 and Snow Show Races February 26, 2.7 & 28", 2010 NEW 5TAGNG AREA - Chalet View & Fillipini Flat, Hwy 70 Contact #: 530-832-5577