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Regional sewer plant will be our ‘big dig’

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Re: “Supes to vote Dec. 6 on sewer planning,”?(Journal, Nov. 27): This project has taken on a life of its own. I believe that special interests and benefits to Lincoln are driving this scheme. There are huge amounts of money to be spent on this public works project and there will be little or no federal money available. Most of these costs will be placed on the backs of the rate payers. Supervisor (Robert) Weygandt claims the cost to the county will be $93 million. This does not include the estimated costs to the city of Auburn of $30 million to $40 million. Supervisor Weygandt knows that the cost to rebuild the North Auburn plants is $48 million to $55 million, not the $63 million he claims. It is obvious that he is in favor of regionalization versus rebuilding the local plant. The cost of regionalization comes from “guesstimates,” not from a sound set of plans. The opportunity for cost overruns is great. This project has the potential of becoming Placer County’s version of the next “big dig.” Once this public works project is started, there will be no turning back and costs will skyrocket. Massive rate increases will have to follow. The City of Lincoln has been undercharging their rate payers for a long time and now has a $12 million deficit. Supervisor Weygandt needs this project to cover the deficit. Rate payers in Auburn and North Auburn should not be “mandated” to have to make up Lincoln’s deficit. Auburn’s sewer plant just completed an upgrade and is in good financial shape. Bids have been received for the North Auburn plant and the project can proceed today. We are only waiting for the supervisors to act. Every day we complain about waste, graft and incompetence coming out of Washington, D.C. Be advised that the same can happen here in Placer County. It’s important to contact your local elected officials and let them know they are being closely watched. Remind them you will be holding them responsible for their actions. Ray Thompson III, Auburn