By Carla O’Day
An amended budget for next fiscal year that contains an additional $4.3 million, much of it for new projects in the Verdi and Mogul areas, was approved Wednesday by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) board.
The Verdi main extension is expected to cost $1.7 million, the Mesa Park subdivision drainage project in southwest Reno is $800,000 and the Mogul booster pump station is about $500,000. A construction water fill station and the Spanish Springs nitrate project are expected to cost $400,000 and $300,000, respectively. Estimated costs for several other projects have also increased.
TMWA’s total annual budget is $47.8 million.
TMWA board member Jenny Brekhus, also a Reno councilwoman, noted that expanding to outlying areas can be expensive.
“This region needs to be under one straw,” she said. “Are we starting to think about those areas and what the costs are?”
TMWA general manager Mark Foree said special assessment districts are an option but forming them are the responsibilities of municipalities.
The following projects will be deferred until fiscal year 2018: West Hidden Valley main replacement ($1 million), Nevada Air National Guard well pumping facilities ($900,000) and Sunrise well No. 3 replacement near Washoe Valley ($800,000).
The board also gave Foree a four percent pay raise for the next fiscal year. His current salary is $186,989. TMWA board members and staff who evaluated Foree anonymously indicated in a survey that he exceeded expectations in most areas.
“TMWA culture promotes cohesive teamwork with the entire management team, Mark provides staff the latitude and responsibility to perform their jobs in a professional manner,” wrote one reviewer. “He stays informed of the important details, but does not micromanage.”
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Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.