CSD: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
The Plumas County Board of Supervisors established the Gold Mountain CSD in 1996 with their approval of the Gold Mountain development. From 1996 to 2004 the County Board had responsibility for running the new district.
The District had an inauspicious beginning with limited oversight by the County government and a limited domestic water supply, insufficient to meet long term plans of the community. All original 408 home sites transferred to private ownership prior to the original developer declaring bankruptcy and prior to installation of promised infrastructure improvements leaving home and property owners facing a daunting challenge. More than 50% of the required water and waste water infrastructure was never completed by the developer, and much of what was constructed required immediate replacement or repair. While connected customers and owners of developable parcels paid service charges to support water and waste water activities, no funding vehicle was provided for fire protection. In addition, the District did not receive a portion of the property tax generated from within Gold Mountain.
In 2004 residents assumed control of the District from the County. The CSD remains a governmental agency and is now run by an elected Board of Directors comprised of local residents. With three major functions—water, waste water and fire protection—the new board started in 2004 with essentially zero funding, no master plan, and no roadmap for the way ahead. Through professional management, sound fiscal planning, establishing a practical rate structure, and investing in professional engineering studies, the CSD has made great strides to “right the ship”.
Projects completed over our first 10 years include:
- Development of a complete set of governing district policies and procedures.
- Development of a Master Plan to provide a blueprint for future growth. The district based the plan on trigger points in long term service requirements to identify domestic water storage and distribution improvements as well as increases to waste water handling capacity;
- Establishment of a rate structure to support operations and begin funding for needed capital facilities;
- Building a capital savings plan to fund long term capital improvements;
- Passage of a Fire Tax to fund fire protection activities;
- Implementation of a mechanism to fund future infrastructure through system development charges for new construction;
- In cooperation with the Gold Mountain Home Owners Association (HOA), developed an aggressive hazardous fuel removal program to protect the community from wild fire; and
- Working with the HOA, developed a modern storage and maintenance facility for community vehicles and equipment.
The District today is financially sound, professionally managed, and is in an excellent position to serve existing customers and accommodate development in the foreseeable future. In addition, planning mechanisms are in place to identify future infrastructure needs, as well as to finance their construction.