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TUD Approves Well Assistance

Sonora, CA –The Tuolumne Utilities District (T.U.D.) approved a first-of-its-kind contract with the Amador Tuolumne Community Resources, Inc. (ATCR) to provide temporary water service to property owners with failing wells. Each temporary water service connection would be metered and the use is to be billed to ATCR on a bimonthly basis.

The Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency (ATCAA) formed the non-profit ATCR program which will receive funding from the California Office of Emergency Services administered by the Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services. Emergency Services Coordinator, Tracie Riggs brought the contract before the T.U.D. board.

T.U.D. General Manager Tom Scesa says, “Tracie [Riggs] was the first one to put this program together in the state and it has been used as a model in other places in the state.”

The approved agreement was amended to state that homes experiencing a hardship, like all other T.U.D. customers will pay connection fees, the same as other customers, once the drought is over and state funding is discontinued. The phrasing “may pay” was changed to “will pay” after considerable discussion by the board about undefined contracts with those who qualify for the new program.

Office of Emergency Services Coordinator, Tracie Riggs says these are temporary connections and temporary tanks, “when the program is over, the state stops reimbursing, and those who have tanks will be shut off at the same time that we would be recommending that the water from T.U.D. be shut off as well.” Riggs adds, “it is much less expensive, it is a better use of resources, to go through your district than it is to continue to truck in water.” Emergency services provides 55 gallons of water per day to customers who are unable to get water other ways.

The key points of agreement are:

The cost to construct the water service would be paid for by the County through the State’s funding program.

The temporary water service would be subject to all the same conditions, including drought restrictions, as permanent customers.

Each temporary water service connection would be metered and the use would be billed to ATCR on a bimonthly basis just like regular customers.

The agreement would expire as soon as the funding was no longer available, the term expired, or at the option of the District or ATCR.

Once the program ended the temporary water service would cease unless all connection fees are paid.