County manager discusses water, new business
May 18, 2014
Douglas County Interim Manager Larry Werner participates in a monthly question-and-answer forum online on The Record-Courier's daily Running Commentary. Anyone with questions is welcome to participate in the next scheduled forum on June 11 at 10:30 a.m. For a full transcript of the last forum, go online at recordcourier.com. Here are excerpts of the last forum:
Q. We see Beales is open in Carson City, we know Grocery Outlet is going into Scolari's, but we've heard Beale's isn't. Is there an update on this and other businesses coming to the Valley?
A. Beales has pulled their building permit as well as Grocery Outlet so both are under construction.
Other activity – Smith's grocery store is looking at installing a fueling station which is under review. The Horizon at the Lake is under review for a major redo.
Q. We've heard the work that's closed Valley Vista is for the water line between Douglas and Carson. Is that true, and how long will the road be closed?
A. A new water line is being constructed up Clear Creek Road and Vista Grande to connect the Douglas County water system to the Carson City water system for emergencies and redundancy.
Having driven to Costco this weekend, it appears that the line is in the ground, so the construction should be completed in the next couple weeks. Sorry don't have more specific time line.
Q. Do you have a date for the water and sewer rate workshops proposed by the county commissioners?
A. No, we don't. We are trying to schedule a meeting location that can adequately house interested parties in the Stephanie Way/Johnson Lane area.
As soon as we get the location pinned down and the date, we will send a notice to the system users. It's anticipated to give at least two weeks notice when the date and location are determined.
Q. What do you think the best solution is for the Sierra Country Estates water system?
A. At the May 1 board of county commissioners meeting, Public Works presented several alternative that provided the "bookends" for viable solutions.
Staff made a recommendation that the board ultimately accepted and from what I saw, I would wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation.
Q. How is the work on Kingsbury progressing?
A. I'd really have to refer you to NDOT. We don't any specific information.
Q. How is the search for a permanent manager going?
A. The board of county commissioners approved the process at the last county commission board meeting.
The job is posted and the position brochure is in final draft. We are in the very early stages of the process.
There will be a presentation at the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce lunch on Wednesday, and a status update will be provided to the board of county commissioners at their June 5 meeting.
Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the county?
A. I think that the biggest challenges are seeing the bypass portion of the Valley Vision plan through; the economy which will continue to be an issue; obviously road maintenance, water, and sewer rates will continue to be a hot topic of discussion; and community health issues such as mental health.
Q. Are you aware of any water concerns in the Ruhenstroth area as far as quality and quantity? We are hearing that residents are having to drill wells deeper, and are worried about having to pay to have town water extended to the area.
A. Ok, very complex question that makes a simple answer tough. The United States Geological Survey has conducted studies in the area looking at both quality and quantity.
It was noted in the USGS report that nitrate levels are increasing which is attributed to the use of individual sewage disposal systems (septic tanks) and that the ground water levels are declining.
In general, if the nitrate levels become too great, the state would probably step in with a public health order to reduce the flow from septic tanks which could mean to a public sewer system of some sort.
If the sewer system option failed to correct the problem then a public water system would be the next option.
As far as folks having to deepen their wells, that is a normal function of drought conditions effecting ground water levels.
At this point, I am not aware of any pending actions leading to the situation described above.
Q. Why is gas cheaper in Carson City than here if Carson has a road tax?
A. Gas station owners set their cost based on overhead, expenses, taxes and profit which varies from county to county and gas station to gas station. Free enterprise really governs the cost.