HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT TO HIRE SEWER CONTRACTOR, STATE APPLICATION CLOSE

HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT TO HIRE SEWER CONTRACTOR, STATE APPLICATION CLOSE

The Yucca Valley proposed sewer project is estimated to cost about $140 million. So far, the Hi-Desert Water District has received grants totaling $7 million. The water district hopes to get more grants and a low-interest loan from the State Revolving Fund for the remaining $133 million. Managing editor Tami Roleff was at last night’s meeting, and says the water district is nearly finished jumping through hoops to submit its loan application…

At last night’s meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District, the Board of Directors decided to hire an outside contractor to construct the Town’s sewer project, so that the sewer is completed in two years as opposed to five years if the District built the sewer itself. The directors also adopted a resolution for a special assessment that will go on property tax bills. The special assessment is another requirement needed for the low-interest loan, as these property tax assessments will be used to repay the State Revolving Fund’s low-interest loan. The District’s Chief Financial Officer Rochelle Clayton said Town residents will be asked to vote this summer to place the special assessment on their property tax bills. “The vote must receive a 50-percent-plus-one positive vote to pass. If the vote does not pass, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund will not fund the loan and the project will have no source of funding.” What will happen to the sewer project if the election fails to garner enough yes votes? “That’s not going to make it go away. A “no” vote will make it more expensive.” All that’s needed now before the loan application is complete is a determination of how assessments should be charged for commercial properties, which the District expects to have by next week. The directors also voted to hire a real estate appraiser who will have nine months to perform appraisals for easements on 245 parcels, and to extend the contract of a public relations firm for the project’s outreach efforts.

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